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News Round-Up

July 31: Caution over ‘no jab, no job’ policy; NHS urged to reject 3% pay rise; Stonehenge Tunnel High Court victory; Netflix for Schumacher docu

  • Here are the headlines on Saturday, July 31

Time 2 months ago

Equalities watchdog cautions employers amid ‘no jab, no job’ policy concerns

Employers have been cautioned by the equalities watchdog to be ‘proportionate’ and ‘non-discriminatory’, amid concerns over the prospect of ‘no jab, no job’ policies emerging.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said it understood firms will want to protect their staff and their customers by requiring employees to be vaccinated, but it advises them to take other factors into consideration.

In the US, Facebook and Google are among those to say their employees would have to show proof they have been fully vaccinated before returning to work. In the UK, though, transport secretary Grant Shapps has suggested it is a good idea for people to be double jabbed before returning to the office but it will not be required by legislation.

Health workers urged to reject NHS 3% pay offer

A health workers union is to recommend rejection of the government’s three per cent pay deal and will have ‘no hesitation’ in supporting members if they want to take industrial action.

The GMB said the increase was months late being paid, and amounted to another real-terms pay cut. It’s campaigning for a 15 per cent increase to make up for a decade of pay cuts under the Conservatives. Its ballot opens on August 6 and closes on September 17.

Drivers want motorway speed limit cut when it rains

Most drivers want a lower motorway speed limit in wet weather, a new survey suggests.

The RAC poll of 2,100 motorists indicated that 72 per cent would like the standard 70mph limit cut in wet conditions to boost safety and encourage better driving habits.

Some 78 per cent of respondents who supported a reduced motorway speed limit in the wet felt it would encourage some drivers to slow down, while 72 per cent believed it was worth trying as it might save lives. Nearly two-thirds said it could improve visibility due to less spray from moving vehicles.

UK ‘closing in on agreement’ with New Zealand in trade talks – Truss

The UK is ‘closing in on an agreement in principle’ in trade talks with New Zealand, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has said.

She said ‘great progress’ has been made in the sixth round of talks between the two countries which ran from July 19-30.

The prospect of a deal with Australia has prompted controversy, with many British farmers raising concerns about being undercut and some MPs questioning how environmentally friendly it is to ship food to and from the other side of the world.

Campaigners win High Court victory over Stonehenge tunnel project

Campaigners have won a High Court battle over transport secretary Grant Shapps’ decision to approve a controversial road project which includes a tunnel near Stonehenge.

Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site (SSWHS) challenged his decision to back the £1.7bn scheme to overhaul eight miles of the A303, including the two-mile tunnel.

In a ruling on Friday, Mr Justice Holgate found the decision was ‘unlawful’ on two grounds. He concluded that there was a ‘material error of law’ in the decision-making process because there was no evidence of the impact on each individual asset at the historic site. He also found that Shapps failed to consider alternative schemes.

Friday headlines you might have missed

New Michael Schumacher documentary to air on Netflix from September

Netflix has announced a new documentary about former Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher.

Produced with full support from the German racing driver’s family, it will include ‘rare interviews and previously undisclosed archival footage’ that will chart a career that saw him become a seven-time World Champion and an icon of the sport.

Announcing the release, Netflix wrote: ‘His strong will and triumphant fight to win against all odds put Michael Schumacher at the centre of global attention.’ Schumacher will be released on the streaming service on September 15, 2021.

Bezos loses appeal over Nasa’s plans to use Musk moon lander

The US federal government has rejected an appeal by billionaire Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin to get in on Nasa’s plans to return astronauts to the moon by using rival Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Nasa in April awarded the 2.9bn dollar (£2bn) contract for a lunar lander to the more established SpaceX, which also offered a cheaper price than the bids from Blue Origin and Dynetics, a subsidiary of Leidos.

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The two losing companies appealed over the contract to the Government Accountability Office on the grounds that there should have been multiple contracts and that the proposals were not evaluated correctly, but the agency rejected their request.

Cloudy, turning wet for some

A cloudy start for most, reports BBC Weather, but some sunny spells will develop during the day. Many areas will see showers; thundery showers in eastern and southern England.

Tonight, a dry for many though a few showers will remain in northern areas and northeastern Scotland.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer.

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