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Morrisons is introducing a four-day working week

Good idea?

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John M / Geograph

A four-day working week is set to be introduced for staff at Morrisons, impacting 1,500 workers. 

Throughout the coronavirus lockdown there has been a resurgence in the concept of a four-day working week, and Morrison’s has announced it will introduce the idea to part of its business. 

The concept will mean 1,500 workers at Morrisons’ head office will experience a serious shake-up in practices while keeping salaries the same. 

The scheme will see the staff doing nine-hour shifts instead of eight, with a six-hour Saturday shift once a month 

Simon McKeating/Geograph

The concept will be launched in the Bradford-based offices on July 27th when staff return after the coronavirus lockdown.

Clare Grainger, people director, said: “These new improvements to our ways of working will enable us to be more flexible and responsive and will make Morrisons a place where more people will want to join and stay.”

Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, she added: “We’ve shown over the last few months how we can continue to run our business while many colleagues work from home, enabled by much greater flexibility and digital working. These new ways of working will simplify and speed up our business and improve our competitiveness.”

The new rules will not be applied to shop staff, who tend to work a rota system.

Headway/Unsplash

Campaigners for a four-day working week argue it helps create a better work-life balance, and actually also increases productivity as staff feel motivated and refreshed. 

Similarly, there are arguments the increased time off will boost the economy as more people spend time (and money) on leisure facilities. 

The Labour party, when headed by Jeremy Corbyn, flittered with the idea in their election campaign – however it has gained fresh momentum in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.  

A cross-bench group of MPs, including shadow chancellor John McDonnell and the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas, wrote to chancellor Rishi Sunak suggesting a four-day week could boost certain sectors of the economy, while also providing more job opportunities amid rising unemployment.

Their letter read: “Shorter working time has been used throughout history as a way of responding to economic crises,” 

“They were used as a way of reducing unemployment during the Great Depression of the 1930s, which led to the normalisation of the eight-hour day and the 40-hour week.

“A four-day week would bring multiple benefits to society, the environment, our democracy, and our economy (through increased productivity).

“One of the biggest impacts would be better mental health and wellbeing across the board with more time available for socialising, family and community.”

The letter also explained that thee quarters of workers supported the concept. It concluded with: “It’s in no one’s interests to return back to the pressure and stress that people were under before this pandemic.” 

Would you want a four-day working week if it meant working longer hours? Let us know…

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Mum-of-two raffles off stunning £600k five-bedroom house and Ferrari for just £2

Wait until you see inside the stunning house

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Jennifer Matthews

After spending nearly a year locked down in our homes due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve all thought about moving house at some point, just for a change of scenery.

Well, if you are thinking about moving somewhere a bit bigger, then we’ve got just the thing for you – a stunning £590,000 bespoke five-bedroom house.

And in even better news, you could grab this beautiful house for just £2, as owners Jennifer and David Matthews are raffling off the property, and are throwing in their Ferrari as well.

Jennifer Matthews

Jennifer Matthews

The couple built Bramble Lodge – which is located between Bolton and Chorley, near to Adlington – from scratch eight years ago, but now want to sell up and move on.

They came to the difficult decision of selling their ‘dream home’ as they need a more manageable property to clean and run, because of Jennifer’s health condition.

Known as Ventricular tachycardia, it’s an incurable heart condition that causes a fast, abnormal heart rate, and means the mum-of-two could die at any moment.

Jennifer Matthews

Jennifer Matthews

However, the coronavirus crisis has made it very difficult to sell the property, which is why they decided to try their luck on popular raffle site Raffall.

This is good news for anyone dreaming of moving into a huge, new family home, as the keys to the five-bedroom detached house – which is worth over half a million and is located in a sought-after postcode – could be yours for as little as £2.

Bramble Lodge is set in its own grounds, hidden away behind a dry stone wall with electric gates for maximum privacy and security, and surrounded by stunning gardens, complete with trees and even a swing.

There’s lots of parking space, with the large drive able to accommodate four cars, which will include the 2004 Ferrari 360 Spider that you claim alongside the house if you win.

Jennifer Matthews

Jennifer Matthews

Once inside, there are three beautiful reception rooms and a huge kitchen area with a breakfast bar and an even an Aga.

Head up the elegant spiral staircase to five double sized bedrooms, including one with an en-suite and slipper bath. The second bedroom has a stunning feature window with the staircase to the kitchen area.

The area – once home to Ryan Giggs – boasts outstanding primary schools, a nearby train station with trains to Manchester, has good motorway links, and is also close to the award-winning The Cherry Tree at Blackrod.

Jennifer Matthews

Jennifer Matthews

The Matthews need to sell all the tickets on Raffall by February 14th, or the raffle will end before that if the last ticket sells before that date.

The lucky winner will be chosen at random, so make sure you grab your ticket or tickets ASAP, as they’re sure to sell quickly.

You can find out more and grab a ticket on the Raffall site here – good luck!

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Car swallowed by sinkhole in Manchester after the city is battered by rain and snow

‘Cars getting swallowed now’

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@breadlineblues / Twitter

A car was partially swallowed up by a sinkhole on a Manchester street last night, after the city was battered with torrential rain and snow.

The weather was relentless yesterday, with heavy rain leading to rivers around our region reaching dangerous levels, followed by snow in the evening.

To top it off, a large crater appeared on a residential street in Gorton yesterday evening, with a car falling into it.

The sinkhole was spotted on Walmer Street in Abbey Hey, with the road surface looking like it ‘buckled’ leaving a roughly four square metre hole.

People took to social media to share photos of the car, which has now been removed.

The street was then partly cordoned off by emergency services, who remained at the scene last night, with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and GMP attending.

Surveyors were also on hand to assess the area for structural damage to surrounding houses, although no further details have been released yet about the cause of the sinkhole.

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Around 3,000 properties at risk of flooding tonight in Greater Manchester as heavy rain continues

Stay safe out there everyone

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@TPT_Stockport / Twitter

As Storm Christoph continues to batter Greater Manchester, some areas of south Manchester and Trafford are at risk of flooding tonight.

Around 3,000 properties will be at risk this evening, according to the police, as authorities continue to monitor the rainfall and its impact on our rivers – with several warnings already issued.

Speaking at Andy Burnham’s press conference earlier this afternoon, Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey detailed the latest information.

According to him, the areas most at risk across Greater Manchester will be those near the River Mersey, specifically Didsbury, Northenden, Sale, and potentially parts of Stretford and Flixton.

ACC Bailey said: “As we speak, residents across those areas are being contacted by the Environment Agency and local authorities to advise them.

“Alerts have already been put out, people there are being advised to consider evacuation procedures should that happen.

“We are going to start to see the overflow contingency provisions at around 5pm. That will reach a peak at around 11pm this evening where we will see flooding of those areas.

“In its worst-case scenario, estimated by the Environment Agency, that could impact on up to 3,000 properties across all the areas.

“This is a significant incident in terms of disruption to population.”

ACC Nick Bailey went on to say that those 3,000 properties might not need to evacuate, adding that authorities will be working ‘right up to the last minute’ to try and prevent that from happening.

In the meantime, Manchester and Trafford councils have been setting up rest centres for anyone who does need to evacuate, and police have confirmed that Covid restrictions do not apply in an evacuation situation – you should leave your home if necessary.

 ACC Bailey added: “Those people have been advised with regards of advice to take where they do feel the need to take action to prevent them being harmed.

“We need to make sure they do take that action, they do make sure they’re safe. The legislation around covid will not be applied there are exemptions.

“If you need to take action, join other bubbles go other properties, please do that if that’s necessary to do that to protect you and your family.”

If you’re worried about the situation you can contact your local authority, however if it’s an emergency dial 999.

Stay safe out there everyone!

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