Mental health "embarrassment", Barclays' U-turn, UK 8th easiest place to do business

Workers remain reluctant to take time off for mental health, and other news you may have missed this week.

by Stephen Jones
Last Updated: 25 Oct 2019

One in five workers feels embarrassed about taking time off because of poor mental health, according to a study of 1,000 employees by insurance firm Canada Life Group. Two in five believe it is easier to take time off if you have a physical illness.

A separate poll by Talkout has found that half of surveyed HR managers believed mental illness was a liability at work. 

There has been a growing effort among business leaders and groups to raise awareness about the importance of mental health, yet if these findings are reflective of UK workplaces then it appears that we still have some way to go to remove the stigma surrounding mental illness. 

(Source People Management)

Barclays reverses Post Office decision

Barclays has U-turned on its plans to stop customers withdrawing cash at post offices.

In October, it became the only major bank to pull out of a new deal with the postal network that gives customers access to over-the-counter cash withdrawals. It’s believed the decision is linked to the rise in fees paid by the banks to the postmasters for the service (which would have saved Barclays, which had pre-tax profits of £3.5bn last year, an estimated £11m). 

The decision had received continued criticism from consumer groups and politicians who were concerned about the decline of bank branches and access to cash in rural areas. A committee of MPs was due to launch a report into the decision. 

The bank also released its third quarter results. 

(Source The Guardian)

UK is the world’s 8th easiest place to do business  

The UK has risen to eighth place in an annual report ranking the world’s business environments. 

The World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report compared 190 nations on the efficiency of their regulatory systems and the impact this has on opening a business, finding a location, accessing finance, day-to-day operations and the overall security of the business environment. 

Last year Britain ranked ninth. This year’s marginal climb means that it is the second highest G7 nation behind the USA (sixth) and third in Europe behind Denmark (fourth) and Georgia (seventh). 

In a government release, Liz Truss, secretary of state for international trade, was keen to push the figures as evidence of the UK’s continued attractiveness as a place to do business in the wake of the 2016 Brexit vote. 

The report is not a measure of business performance or levels of investment, rather a reflection of the UK’s strength of regulation for which it has a historically strong reputation. While FDI stock (the amount of capital owned by foreign companies) is at a record high in 2018, FDI flow (the amount of cash coming into the UK) declined by 36 per cent between 2017 and 2018, according to UN figures

(Source World Bank)

Image credit: SOPA Images / Contributor


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