Shell to close final-salary pension scheme
Shell is to close the FTSE 100’s last remaining final salary pension scheme to new hires in Britain, ending an era in which private sector workers could be confident of a guaranteed income throughout their retirements. The move by Shell UK, which will take effect in 2013, comes as government ministers attempt to force public sector workers to pay higher contributions into schemes that would still be more predictable than those available to their private sector counterparts.
Cameron vows reform of top pay
David Cameron has vowed to crack down on the “market failure” that has led to what he called “excessive growth” in executive pay, but appears to be backing away from some of the more radical proposals to deal with the issue. Mr Cameron said there would be a new regime of transparency and proposed that shareholders should be given binding votes on remuneration packages, as well as having to approve dismissal packages. Legislation is expected to be included in this spring’s Queen’s Speech.
Work/life balance ranks higher than stress as the biggest health concern for employers, says GRiD
Work/life balance is the top health and wellbeing concern for employers according to a survey of medium and large employers by Group Risk Development (GRiD). The survey of 500 employers, found maintaining a good work/life balance for staff remaining in the business ranked as the top health issue for more than one in five employers (21%). This is ahead of stress and mental health issues (19%) – currently cited as the most common cause for workplace absence.
MPs call for two alcohol-free days each week and clearer guidelines
Everybody should be advised to take at least two alcohol-free days a week, say MPs, who urge in a report that safe drinking guidelines should be revised because they are confusing. The House of Commons says awareness of the existence of the guidelines is high, but public understanding of what they mean is poor. More help is needed so that drinkers understand what a unit of alcohol actually looks like, so they can have an idea of how many units they are drinking in a pint of beer or a glass of wine.
Marks & Spencer breaks mould with packaging for ‘longer-living’ fruit
Next week Marks and Spencer will become the first major retailer to roll out ground-breaking new packaging which it claims will extend the life of fruit stored in the fridge by up to two days, helping to cut domestic food waste. The supermarket will add a small plaster-style strip at the bottom of punnets of strawberries, containing a patented mixture of clay and other minerals that absorb ethylene – the ripening hormone which causes fruit to ripen and then turn mouldy. If successful, the new packaging will be added to all the supermarkets’ berries.