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Millions travel for bank holiday weekend

26 August 2016

About 5.1 million people will be heading off on breaks within the UK over the bank holiday weekend, tourism agency Visit England has estimated.The AA says traffic is likely to begin building up on Friday evening but the busiest single day for motorists is expected to be Saturday.Visit England said about £1.3bn is set to be generated for the economy.Meanwhile, travel organisation Abta expects two million Britons will head abroad between Friday and Monday.Heathrow is expecting more than 440,000 passengers to depart over the long weekend, while Gatwick is preparing for 311,000 outgoing passengers.Stansted is due to see 103,000 people...

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UK passport applications from EU nationals rose 14 percent before referendum

26 August 2016

There was a 14% spike in applications for British citizenship by European Union nationals living in the UK in the run-up to the EU referendum in June sparked by uncertainty over the outcome of the vote, Home Office figures show.The 14% rise in applications for British passports from EU nationals to 15,501 included a 26% rise in applications from Italians and a 9% rise from Polish nationals in Britain.The disclosure comes as the latest set of immigration figures published on Thursday show that net annual migration to Britain had already started to dip before the referendum.The referendum campaign was dominated...

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Thousands of foreign nationals stuck in visa limbo

26 August 2016

ALMOST 14,000 foreign nationals are living in limbo in Scotland waiting for the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) division of the Home Office to tell them if they can stay.And the MP who has been fighting the highest profile case – that of the Brain family in Dingwall – says the immigration system is in chaos.Figures The National obtained through a Freedom of Information (FoI) request to the Home Office show that on March 31, the number of temporary migration applications pending in Scotland was 8,065, and the number of permanent applications stood at 5,915.Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP Ian...

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Gender wage gap closing but not for degree holders

25 August 2016

Ahead of the proposed introduction of mandatory gender pay gap reporting for the UK’s largest companies, it shows that on average, women in paid work receive about 18 per cent less per hour than men. Gradual rise in pay gap over working lives Digging down into the causes of the disparity, the independent research body’s study highlights a consistent, gradual rise in gender pay inequality for 12 years after the birth of a first child, resulting in mothers receiving 33 per cent less pay per hour than men at this point. According to the IFS study, The Gender Wage Gap, funded by...

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Major house builder brushes off fears of Brexit downturn

25 August 2016

There were widespread fears that the property sector could suffer real damage as a result of the Brexit vote on June 23 but Jeff Fairburn, Persimmon chief executive, said, “Our private sale reservation rate since July is currently 17 per cent ahead of the same period last year.” Mr Fairburn added, “While the result of the EU referendum has created increased economic uncertainty, customer interest since then has been robust with visitor numbers to our sites around 20 per cent ahead year on year. The group is now trading through the traditionally slower summer weeks but customer demand remains encouraging and...

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UNITED KINGDOM Online Access UK Digital Visa Application Service Global Rolled Out

23 August 2016

The UK Home Office announced August 19 that the Access UK online digital application service is now available globally. Applicants for visas to the UK in over 180 countries may process visa applications in 10 languages. Applicants can use the system for faster application with an intuitive online form along with checklists, required document lists, and process steps to obtain UK visas. The new Access UK replaces the previous Visa4UK and adds the further convenience of access from any mobile device. Source

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Brexit slowdown will see UK house price fall in 2017

23 August 2016

The economic fallout from the Brexit vote in June’s referendum will result in UK house prices falling by an average of one per cent next year, according to a forecast from Countrywide, the nation’s largest estate agents. Prime properties in central London, areas which include Westminster, Chelsea and Kensington, are predicted to see the largest falls of six per cent this year. They are expected to stagnate in 2017 but pick up by four per cent in 2018. Across the UK, price growth is expected to slow to two per cent this year - down from 6.5 per cent last...

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Make the most of your Look See trip

22 August 2016

A look-see visit is exactly what it says on the tin; a chance tolook around your prospective new home and see what’s there (and what isn’t!). Someone once said to me ‘you don’t know what you don’t know until you find out’ and honestly, that is so true. You can take virtual tours, read brochures and look at endless images but until you go and look-see for yourself you don’t truly understand what you need to plan for. Not everyone gets an opportunity for a look-see trip. And that’s OK too! Sometimes it may work out better for you to not know; especially if you have...

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Scale of British rush for freedom of movement passports revealed

22 August 2016

Britons are hurrying to ensure their own access to the European Union remains intact.In the two months since UK voters chose to quit the bloc, 16 embassies and high commissions in London contacted by Bloomberg News reported increases in either applications for passports or questions about residency.The stronger demand suggests eligible UK residents are eager to safeguard their rights to work and travel in the EU amid uncertainty over what status they will have after Brexit.“We have noticed a steep surge of both inquiries and applications,” Johannes Dopsch, the attache at the Austrian Embassy, said in an email. “In the first days after...

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Students across the UK receive A level results

19 August 2016

Minister of State for School Standards Nick Gibb said, “We want to make our country a place where there is no limit on anyone’s ambition or what they can achieve. It is hugely encouraging that this year sees a record 424,000 applicants already securing a place at one of our world-class universities, with increasing numbers from disadvantaged backgrounds gaining a place as well.”  A-level results Pupils across England, Wales and Northern Ireland have received their A-level results today with the overall pass rate at 98.1%, exactly the same as last year. The number of students achieving the top...

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Jump in post Brexit retail sales major boost to economy

19 August 2016

After a dismal June in the run-up to EU referendum, when sales slumped 0.9 per cent from the previous month, sales were forecast to rise by only 0.1-0.2 per cent in July. But data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that shoppers took advantage of the month’s good weather and turned out in their droves, particularly in the non-food sector, to boost the year-on-year growth in retailing to 5.9 per cent. Sterling rose on international markets on the back of the news, which CNBC described as “adding to a positive picture for the country’s economy following the...

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Strong fundamentals mean UK property market set to see 3 percent growth overall in 2016

19 August 2016

Strong market fundamentals remain in the UK’s regional residential property markets despite recent political events, most notably the decision to leave the European Union.The latest analysis from real estate firm CBRE suggests that UK house prices are expected to grow by an average of 3% this year with current growth of 5.1% across the country regarded as encouraging.The report says that the Outer Metropolitan area saw the strongest performance in the second quarter of 2016 with prices up 12.4% in June. London followed closely with 9.9% growth, whilst the North was the weakest performing region with prices down 1% year...

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Surprise drop in benefit claimants in wake of Brexit vote

18 August 2016

As figures from the Office for National Statistics also showed another fall in unemployment and a new record high of the number in work in the quarter to June, analysts warned that the reduction in the claimant count could be anomaly because firms could not legally make people redundant in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote.The UK unemployment rate, currently the lowest since 2005 at 4.9 per cent, is expected to rise to anywhere between 5.5-6.5 per cent as a result of the referendum outcome.ONS data showed that, in the second quarter of this year, 1.64 million Britons were unemployed, down...

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Government plans grammar school revival for working class areas

18 August 2016

The Times Educational Supplement (TES) published the notion, which put forward the idea that selective schools could be introduced nationwide. The schools would provide education for low and middle-income families and could see the return of widespread selective education. It is believed the new schools will have strict catchment areas to ensure the target families will be impacted. Theresa May has previously expressed her support of selective education and it is thought that various members of her new cabinet are also keen to lift the current ban. May attended Holton Park Girls’ Grammar School which was restructured during her time there...

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International Baccalaureate Career related Programme IBCP

18 August 2016

The International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme is part of the International Baccalaureate programme of education and is specifically developed for students who wish to engage in career-related learning. What is the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme? The International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP) is part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme of education which is taught in thousands of schools across the world. Starting with the IB Primary Years Programme, the continuum of internationally focused education is followed by the IB Middle Years Programe and culminates in the completion of either the IB Diploma Programme or the Career-related Programme. The IBCP incorporates the educational principles of the IB, into a programme specifically...

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Eastern European workers in UK pass one million

18 August 2016

he number of UK workers from eight eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004 has passed one million for the first time.From April to June, workers from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia increased by 44,000 compared to the same period in 2015.Official figures showed there were now a total of 2.23m EU workers in Britain.UK unemployment fell by 52,000 to 1.64m during the same three-month period.The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures are the first to be issued since June’s EU referendum, when the UK voted to leave the European Union.The labour market...

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Fuel prices push up UK inflation rate to 0.6 percent

17 August 2016

Rising fuel prices helped to push the UK’s inflation rate higher last month, according to official figures.The annual inflation rate as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose to 0.6% in July from 0.5% in June, the Office for National Statistics said.More expensive alcoholic drinks and hotel rooms also helped to increase the CPI rate, the ONS said.The Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation rose to 1.9% in July from 1.6% in June.July’s RPI inflation rate sets the cap for how much regulated rail fares in England, Scotland and Wales can rise by next year.Brexit’s impact on the economyRegulated...

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Britain could have special relationship with EU after Brexit, says German foreign minister

17 August 2016

Britain could be given a “special status” in its relationship with the European Union after Brexit negotiations are complete, Germany’s foreign affairs minister said on Tuesday, but should not drag its feet over beginning EU-UK divorce talks.Michael Roth said that Britain should be ready to invoke Article 50 by January 2017 despite reports over the weekend that the so-called Brexit ministries run by David Davis and Liam Fox were short-staffed, in chaos and nowhere near ready for business.“Until the end of the year should really be sufficient time to get organised and adjust to the new situation,” he told Reuters in an interview. “We...

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Brexit business is BOOMING Small companies flock to take advantage of EU exit

16 August 2016

There has been a massive surge in funding enquiries from small and medium-sized companies determined to exploit the trading opportunities offered by the country’s withdrawal from a bureaucratic and competition-stifling EU.Requests for finance totalling more than £20m have been recorded since the beginning of August – exceeding £2m a day, figures from the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) show.That is the same amount of funding requested during the whole of July, and twice the level over the same time period in August 2015; with the number of enquiries up by two-thirds.The average size of loans being requested has...

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Brexit discount makes London property cheaper for some

16 August 2016

Price cuts of nearly 20 percent and a drop in the value of the pound have created “Brexit discount” bargains on some of the most expensive homes in central London – if you have millions of pounds to spare.The UK property market was one of the first sectors hit by uncertainty after Britons voted to leave the European Union on June 23, at one point forcing more than 18 billion pounds worth of commercial property funds to be frozen.Some wealthy foreign buyers saw an opportunity, however.One Canadian buyer snapped up a seven-bedroom, five-bathroom home with a pool two weeks after...

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Chinese investors still hungry for U.K. property, even after Brexit

16 August 2016

Signs show Chinese investors are eager to continue snapping up U.K. residential and commercial properties, with the post-Brexit slide in the pound among the factors enticing buyers.The vote for the U.K. to leave the European Union has smashed the value of the pound lower against its rivals. And that is encouraging potential purchasers of luxury homes and commercial buildings in London to overlook the uncertainty around Brexit, real-estate professionals have found.“There have been a lot of drags on the property market in recent months,” including the referendum, said Bernie Morris, president of the U.K, Europe and Middle East region for...

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Experts split over post Brexit fate of UK construction

15 August 2016

Construction output in the UK construction industry declined again in June, sparking fears that there could be worse to come in the wake of the EU referendum vote. Some analysts, however, have maintained that the recession in the industry could not be blamed wholly on uncertainty in the lead-up to the 23 June referendum and that much of the latest downturn was due to seasonal and global factors. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed construction output fell by 0.9 per cent in June after a 2.1 per cent decline in May. Output was 1.4 per cent...

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Employers more cautious on hiring post Brexit, survey says

15 August 2016

UK employers have become more cautious about hiring new staff following the vote to leave the EU, a report claims. The proportion of employers expecting to increase staff over the next three months dropped from 40% ahead of the vote to 36% after it, according to a survey by HR body the CIPD and Adecco. It said the fall was “significantly sharper” among private sector firms. “There has been a clear deterioration in hiring intentions… as a result of the Brexit vote,” the report said. The CIPD said the survey’s results suggested post-Brexit economic forecasts of...

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Richmond mayor wants foreigner tax on farms

15 August 2016

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie is calling on the provincial government to apply a 15 per cent tax on farmland purchases by foreigners, after previously being opposed to such a levy, citing a personal philosophy to see a free market for real estate.Brodie explained, this week, that the new provincial tax applied to residential properties places an extra incentive for foreigners to buy farmland and build large homes, which, coincidently, is another matter he’s asking the province to weigh in on.“If you have a 15 per cent tax, have it apply to all the land,” said Brodie.At issue is farmland that...

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Number of Indian students going to UK and US varsities to go up by 50 percent

11 August 2016

SINGAPORE: The number of Indian students going overseas for under-graduate and post-graduate studies is expected to increase by 50 per cent over the next five years due to a manifold increase in their family incomes, a placement expert said here on Thursday.”We see, conservatively, a 50 per cent increase in Indian students going to the US and UK for under-grad and post-grad studies over the next five years. This is strongly supported by the growing disposal income of their families,” said Rohan Pasari, Co-founder and CEO of Cialfo, a Singapore-based education technology (edtech).Cialfo, co-founded by Kolkata-born Pasari and Singaporean Stanley...

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House prices pause for breath post Brexit say surveyors

11 August 2016

The UK housing market paused for breath after the Brexit vote, but could take off again over the next 12 months, a poll of surveyors suggests.The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) survey showed house price rises slowed significantly in the three months to the end of July.The surveyors said new buyer inquiries, home sales and new instructions all fell over the period.But a separate survey indicated renewed confidence in commercial property.Confidence ‘resilient’In the residential market, the number of surveyors reporting price increases dropped to its lowest in three years.They outnumbered those seeing price falls by 5%, compared with a...

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Surveyors call on UK government to take radical action to stimulate growth

11 August 2016

The Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) is calling on the government to consider some radical measures to stimulate all aspects of the residential property market.The Association has welcomed the government’s decision to lower corporation tax in a bid to boost the economy, but believes that more needs to be done to address the UK housing market’s needs, including the construction of significantly more much needed new homes.Alan Milstein, chairman of RPSA, said: “The announcement that corporation tax will be lowered over time to stimulate the economy is welcome news, but it is not nearly enough to address the problems that we have...

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UK tourism boosted by fall in pound

10 August 2016

Flight bookings to the UK jumped since June, driven by the sharp fall in the pound following the vote to leave the European Union.Overall, there were 4.3% more flights booked to the UK in the 28 days following the vote than last year.Bookings from Hong Kong leapt by 30.1%, while they were up by 9.2% from the US and 5% from Europe.Travel researcher ForwardKeys said Brexit had had an “immediate, positive impact” on tourism to the UK.The organisation, which analyses 14 million reservation transactions a day to monitor future travel patterns, said: “The most favourable exchange rate in decades is...

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Gender diversity back on the agenda in wake of new research

10 August 2016

Britain’s biggest companies are once again making gender diversity a key business priority, according to a global talent mapping and pipelining company. Research by Cranfield University, City University London and Queen Mary University of London found that just 5.6 per cent of executive directorships in the FTSE250 are filled by women. Rachel Davis, Deputy CEO of Armstrong Craven, said, “We have seen a sudden spike in the number of enquiries we are seeing from leading companies aware that they still have a lot of work to do to improve the representation of women at senior levels within their...

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Residential property the Brexit opportunity for commercial investors

10 August 2016

As many investors leave the commercial property sector following Brexit, is residential property now the solution for them to turn to?It’s been an investment favourite for years, but investors are starting to fall out of love with commercial property funds.Assets from offices to shops and industrial buildings have long been popular with institutions and large-scale investors for generations. Open-ended commercial funds, which enable investors to withdraw their money at any time, rose from £13 billion to £28 billion in the 10 years between 2006 and 2016.But things are changing.Transaction volumes are slowing and this year has so far been underlined...

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Gap widens between state and independent pupils entering university

10 August 2016

The gap between A Level students moving from state and independent schools into the top universities has widened, according to figures from the Department for Education. The gap has also increased between state and independent school pupils entering mainstream higher education. This is the first year of full data available since the government’s decision to allow universities to charge up to £9,000 for tuition fees. Despite ministers claiming that the introduction of higher tuition fees would not deter pupils from low-income families attending university, the figures seem to indicate otherwise. The news also follows changes introduced on 1...

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Corporate relocation inquiries hit new high in July

08 August 2016

After a marked slowdown in the run-up to the EU referendum in the number of corporate relocation inquiries about residential property lettings in SE England’s commuter belt, the total rebounded last month to the highest level seen this year. After a marked slowdown in the run-up to the EU referendum in the number of corporate relocation inquiries about residential property lettings in SE England’s commuter belt, the total rebounded last month to the highest level seen this year. Knight Frank’s latest Home Counties Letting Index, described as “a good economic indicator of the perceived stability of the UK market”,...

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Experts react to Bank of England stimulus package

08 August 2016

As global markets weighed up the implications of the Bank of England rate cut and new quantitative easing programme in the wake of the EU referendum, experts cast their verdicts on the Monetary Policy Committee’s latest economic strategy. Here we look at some of the reactions. Property Market Ben Madden, managing director of London estate agents Thorgills – “The first rate cut for seven years can only be a positive for the UK property market. For many homeowners, their mortgage costs have just fallen even further. The property market has by no means imploded since the vote to leave the...

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Brexit wont affect number of people hired according to almost half of UK businesses

05 August 2016

There is certainly reason for jobseekers to be hopeful, as June figures from the totaljobs Employment Index (TEI) have revealed that the number of jobs posted on the totaljobs website is up 4 per cent from May to June, showing UK employers are still actively hiring. However, despite this, almost half (48 per cent) of UK jobseekers are more concerned about finding a job now than before the EU Referendum.The research was conducted by totaljobs in July 2016, following the EU Referendum, and surveyed both employers and candidates. It reveals that 44 per cent of all candidates believe there will be more...

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Rate cut, and more QE as UK confronts aftermath of Brexit vote

05 August 2016

UK business groups have reacted favourably to the Bank of England’s decision to halve interest rates to a new low and adopt a stimulus package worth up to £170 billion in a bid to stave off recession following the Brexit vote in June’s EU referendum.The rate cut to 0.25 per cent had been widely expected after latest figures showed the UK economy has started to shrinkl since the vote, with the all-important services sector suffering its biggest decline since 2009. The bank has now revealed its biggest growth downgrade since quarterly inflation report records began but insisted on Thursday that its Monetary Policy...

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Charity Fundraising Event

04 August 2016

Icon Relocation has recently committed to adopting The Stroke Association as our company charity, due to the recent loss of a former colleague.

To support this respected charity, we will be raising funds for them over the course of 2012 & 2013. Our first fund raising event will be to cover the Five Capitals of the UK & Ireland by motorbike within the quickest time possible, allowing for stops for fuel, food, sleep, extreme weather conditions, ferry timetables, unexpected delay and hopefully the occasional time to get some sleep!

The route in question will cover in excess of...

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Brexit visa rush could equal 140 years worth of applications

04 August 2016

The UK could be forced to process 140 years’ worth of visa applications in just one year if there is a rush by 3.5m European citizens to secure residency rights once the process of Brexit begins.While ministers have said they expect to protect the long-term status of European migrants already in Britain if free movement comes to an end, keeping this promise would mean clearing a number of logistical hurdles.In a report published on Wednesday, Oxford university’s Migration Observatory said the administrative and legal burden of processing millions of applications in a short time would be a “formidable task”.The government...

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Prime property values in London fall despite activity rise

04 August 2016

Reports from leading estate agents show asking prices for properties for sale in London dipped in the second quarter of 2016. Rental prices have also fallen although the volume of deals since June’s referendum has risen. Figures from London estate agent Douglas & Gordon showed a sharp fall of 3.6 per cent in residential property prices for sale in prime areas between Notting Hill and Chelsea. Three- and four-bedroom houses experienced some of the sharpest price drops (down 4.3 and 3.8 per cent respectively), while one- and two-bed flats dropped far less. “This gives owners who are looking...

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Opening of 101 riverside apartments in landmark residential tower adjacent to luxury London hotel and London O2 Arena

04 August 2016

Arora Group’s first end-to-end residential project, building on expertise from management of exclusive Berkshire residential development, “Charters” and ongoing West Sussex gateway developmentExclusive access to connected luxury hotel, InterContinental London – The O2Officially re-named “Arora Tower” (formerly “The Peninsula Tower”)The Arora Group (“Arora” or the “Group”) today announces the opening of the landmark residential “Arora Tower”, on the Greenwich Peninsula, London which offers unique, direct access to the Group’s luxury InterContinental London – The O2 hotel. Construction was completed on 26th July and the sales will complete over early August.The 106,000sqft development consists of 101 luxury apartments, including four penthouses...

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UNITED KINGDOM Employers Risk Criminal Charges For Not Verifying Work Authorization of Foreign Employees

02 August 2016

Employers of foreign workers in the United Kingdom may now face criminal charges if they fail to closely inspect work authorization documents of their foreign employees. Now employers may be criminally liable not just where they knowingly hired foreign workers ineligible to work in the UK, but also where the employer “has reasonable cause to believe” that an employee is ineligible because of his or her immigration status. These new rules came into effect July 12th as a result of the Immigration Act of 2016 enacted in May. While it has long been the duty of every UK employer...

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Mixed picture on future economic growth says CBI

02 August 2016

The first growth indicator produced by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) since the EU referendum showed a mixed picture in private sector growth in the three months to July. Growth across manufacturing, distribution and the all-important service sector, which accounts for more than three-quarters of the UK’s GDP, returned to rates seen earlier in the year, averaging five per cent across the quarter, helped by a sharp increase of 12 per cent in June. Growth held steady in consumer services and strengthened in manufacturing while weakening in business and professional services and retailing. The survey of more...

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Home ownership falling in major English cities

02 August 2016

Major English cities - particularly Manchester - have seen the sharpest falls in home ownership since a peak in the early 2000s, analysis suggests.The Resolution Foundation said homes were becoming increasingly unaffordable for struggling potential buyers.The proportion of home owners dropped from 72% in April 2003 to 58% this year in Greater Manchester, it said.West Yorkshire, the metropolitan area of the West Midlands and outer London have also recorded double-digit falls.Explaining the falling rates of home ownership, Matthew Whittaker, chief economist from the Resolution Foundation, told the BBC’s Today programme: “What we particularly have seen since 2002-03 is that incomes...

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