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M&S offers store staff four-day working week for better work life balance

75% of retail managers said the compressed hours had a positive impact on their family life

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M&S will be offering its store staff a four-day working week in a bid to improve work life balance across the company.

The change has also come to better attract some of the ‘best talent in the industry’.

From January 2023, more than 3,000 retail managers will be offered flexible working options, such as spreading their hours over five days, working a four-day compressed week or nine-day compressed fortnight.

Part-time managers will also be able to access their own pro-rated versions of the compressed ways of working on offer.

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This follows a successful trial across 100 M&S stores, where 75% of the participating retail managers said the compressed hours had had a positive impact on their family life. 73% also reported having more time for themselves.

Simon Pollitt, Store Manager at M&S Stratford-on-Avon who took part in the trial, saw the benefits first-hand of greater flexibility for his family.

Read More: M&S raises staff pay for second time this year to help with cost of living

He said: “Working nine days over two weeks means I can get alternative Wednesdays off to look after my one year old son, which gives us quality time together and also helping to save money on nursery costs.

“It’s fantastic and feels ground-breaking in our field.”

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Sarah Findlater, Group HR Director at M&S, added: “We want M&S to be a great place to work and shop, and that means having engaged colleagues with a good work-life balance.

“Retail is a fast-paced industry but that shouldn’t mean missing out on the moments that matter. Whether caring commitments, the chance to get involved in your local community or to prioritise your own mental and physical wellbeing.

“We’ve listened to colleagues and are determined to create a cultural shift to flexible working across our stores. Those retail managers taking part in our compressed hours trial agree it’s been a gamechanger by giving them more choice and autonomy.

“We’re also always keen to put colleague ideas into action like our new Job Share Finder and are determined to keep exploring ideas that transform the way we work at M&S.”

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Northern housing estate so rough bus drivers were forced to stop going there

The services were fully suspended over the weekend following a spate of antisocial behaviour

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A northern housing estate became so plagued with anti-social behaviour that bus drivers were told to avoid stopping there.

Two bus routes through the Swarcliffe Estate in Leeds were cancelled earlier in the year after teenagers reportedly targeted the vehicles and passengers with stones and rocks. 

In a social media statement, First West Yorkshire announced that the 40 and 56 services would be avoiding the estate in both directions, citing ‘attempted vandalism’. 

The tweet thread read: “SERVICE UPDATE – 40/56. Due to attempted vandalism, we are diverting away from the Swarcliffe Estate in both directions.

“So sorry for any issues this may cause on your journey.

“This will be in place until the end of service this evening. This is for the safety of both our drivers and passengers. I am sorry for the disruption caused.”

Read More: One of the world’s deadliest snakes found on industrial estate in Salford

In a post on Facebook, Councillor Jessica Lennox, of Cross Gates and Whinmoor ward, addressed the vandalism, confirming that the 40 and 56 buses would be diverting around the area ‘as a result of some serious vandalism that took place earlier’. 

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Residents have previously spoken about how they ‘live in fear’ on the estate, saying intimidating anti-social behaviour is becoming worse.

One local teenager told Leeds Live of the youths who vandalised the buses: “They throw stones and break the buses whenever they come down here. I wasn’t surprised.

“Just the other day I saw three buses stopped at the bottom of the estate because they all had glass smashed everywhere. It had gone over a nearby mum and her pram.

“If you see a big group of people anywhere around here you turn around and go the other way.”

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Her grandmother added: “Stones are always thrown at buses around here as there’s nothing for the kids to do… It’s really bad where big groups gather around the Co-Op.

“My grandson lives around the corner and he’s been attacked twice. We don’t really go out at night, and would use a taxi if we did. It’s not nice for the drivers or the passengers.”

Another resident, Keith Pettman, told the outlet that the estate was suffering major issues with antisocial behaviour, saying: “There’s some youths on the estate that are a little rowdy.

“They mess about with bikes and things like all bored teenagers do but I know they get in the way of buses and people.

“There’s definitely vandals around that will smash a few things up every so often. The field also gets ripped up and recently a load of dustbins got set on fire.”

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Pub chain giving away FREE pints to anyone with one of these 50 surnames

Are you on the list?

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Greene King

England’s World Cup campaign got off to a flying start yesterday with a convincing 6-2 win over Iran.

Our Welsh neighbours – who are also in Group B with us – managed a draw with the USA, thanks to a late Gareth Bale penalty.

But goals aren’t the only thing to celebrate this World Cup, as a pub chain is giving away FREE pints to lucky fans who have one of 50 surnames.

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Greene King is dishing out a free drink to anyone who has the same surname as a player in either the England or Wales squads.

If you have one of the lucky last names, you can claim a pint on the house at any point during an England or Wales game.

All you have to do is head to a participating Greene King pub with your driving licence or passport to prove your name.

Anyone with one of these 50 surnames can claim the free pint: 

Hennessey
Ward
Davies
Cabango
Lockyer
Rodon
Mepham
Ampadu
Gunter
Williams
Roberts
Thomas
Allen
Smith
Levitt
Wilson
Morrell
Ramsey
Colwill
Bale
Moore
Harris
Johnson
James
Pickford
Pope
Ramsdale
Alexander-Arnold
Coady
Dier
Maguire
Shaw
Stones
Trippier
Walker
White
Bellingham
Gallagher
Henderson
Mount
Phillips
Rice
Foden
Grealish
Kane
Maddison
Rashford
Saka
Sterling
Wilson

All you need to do is head down to your nearest participating boozer and show the bar your photo ID during any England or Wales World Cup group stage game.

You can find the nearest pub to you taking part in the offer here.

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Will Ferrell appeals for spare room in North West to watch Eurovision

Got any room for Will?

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Netflix

Earlier this year it was announced that Eurovision 2023 would be held in Liverpool instead of Kiev, due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Following the news, all hotels and accommodation in the city quickly sold out – with many establishments dramatically increasing their prices in the process.

As such, finding somewhere to stay during the annual song contest has become nigh on impossible, even if you’re a Hollywood superstar like Will Ferrell. 

Will recently appealed for help in finding accommodation for next year’s Eurovision during an appearance on BBC Radio 2 to promote his new film Spirited.

The actor previously wrote and starred in the 2020 film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, playing Icelandic singer Lars Erickssong.

READ MORE: Will Ferrell’s Buddy the Elf returns to screens in new Asda Christmas advert

During the BBC interview, Zoe Ball mentioned how much she enjoyed the film, to which Will responded: “And it’s in Liverpool this year, isn’t it?”

After being asked if he wanted to go, he said: “You know my mother really wants me to take her to Eurovision, she’s dying to go and she’s always wanted to go to Liverpool.”

Will added: “But aren’t the hotels all booked now?”

After the comedian appealed for a spare room to stay in, Zoe said: “If anyone is willing to put up Will Ferrell and his mum in Liverpool or the Liverpool area during Eurovision.”

Will revealed his requirements: “We need a clean, tidy room. We’ll share a room – two bunk beds that’s all we need. I know we’re kidding but my mom would love that, she’d be thrilled.”

Eurovision 2023 will consist of two semi-finals on May 9th and 11th, before the final on May 13th.

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