EU Workplace Headscarf Ban is Legal

EU Workplace Headscarf Ban is Legal
Employers are entitled to ban workers from the “visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign” – including headscarves, Europe’s top court has ruled. But the ban must be based on internal company rules requiring all employees to “dress neutrally”, said the European Court of Justice (ECJ). It cannot be based on the wishes of a customer, it said.

It is the court’s first decision on the issue of Islamic headscarves at work. The ECJ’s ruling was prompted by the case of a receptionist fired for wearing a headscarf to work at the company G4S in Belgium.

Belgium’s court of cassation had referred the case to the EU’s top court for clarification.

Parliament Clears Way for Talks with EU over Brexit Deal

Parliament Clears Way for Talks with EU over Brexit Deal
Parliament has passed the Brexit bill, paving the way for the government to trigger Article 50 so the UK can leave the European Union. Peers backed down over the issues of EU residency rights and a meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal after their objections were overturned by MPs. The bill is expected to receive Royal Assent and become law on Tuesday.

 

This means Theresa May is free to push the button on withdrawal talks, now expected in the last week of March. That Brexit process is set to take two years from when Mrs May invokes Article 50, which formally gives the EU notice of the UK’s intention to leave.

Brexit Secretary David Davis said. “We are now on the threshold of the most important negotiation for our country in a generation.”

The EU Withdrawal Bill was passed unamended late on Monday after peers voted by 274 votes to 118 not to challenge the Commons again over the issue of whether Parliament should have a veto on the terms of exit. The House of Lords also agreed not to reinsert guarantees over the status of EU residents in the UK into the bill, with the government winning the vote by a margin of 274 votes to 135. Later analysis of the division list for the first Lords vote on EU citizens’ rights to remain in the UK showed that 25 Labour peers sided with the Lib Dems, including former cabinet minister Lord Mandelson.

Earlier, the government had comfortably won votes on the issues in the Commons, with only a handful of Tory MPs rebelling.

Rents Fall for First Time in Six Years

Rents Fall for First Time in Six Years
The average monthly rent for newly let properties has fallen for the first time since late 2010, says the estate agency Countrywide. The drop has been due to a big recent increase in the supply of properties becoming available, mainly in London. That was due to some landlords rushing to buy last year before a 3% stamp duty surcharge came into effect.

The average new tenancy in England, Wales and Scotland fell 0.6% in the year to February, to £921 a month.

The main factor was a big drop in rents in London and south east of England.

In the capital they fell by nearly 5% in the past year to an average of £1,246 a month, and in the south east of England they fell by nearly 3% to £1,152. Everywhere else rental levels continued to rise.

“Rents are growing in most of the country but falls in London and the south east are dragging down the national growth rate, ” said Countrywide’s research director Johnny Morris. “Early signs point towards 2017 being a rare year where rents rise faster in the north of the country than in the south,” he added.

Countrywide’s research is at odds with the most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Its latest figures, for the year to January 2017, showed that across the UK rents for private tenants had risen by 2.2.%.

When the figures were published last month, the ONS commented that “inflation in the rental market is likely to have been caused by demand in the market outpacing supply” – a distinctly different message from that of Countrywide.

Countrywide said it expected the apparent over-supply of rental properties to be flushed out of the market in the coming year, with average national rents starting to grow again after that.

Ministers Expect MPs to Reject Brexit Bill Changes

Ministers Expect MPs to Reject Brexit Bill Changes
Ministers believe MPs will reject the two changes made to the Brexit bill in the House of Lords when they debate it for the second time later. Peers want to guarantee the rights of EU citizens in the UK and ensure Parliament has a vote on any deal.

The EU Withdrawal Bill could complete its final stages if both Houses of Parliament agree the text of the bill. PM Theresa May could then trigger Article 50, which formally starts the Brexit process, as early as Tuesday.

Both the House of Commons and House of Lords will debate and vote on the bill on Monday. MPs will go first, and if they reverse the Lords changes it will be passed back to peers to decide whether they want to go against the government’s plans again.

The bill travels back and forth between the two chambers until both sides agree – Parliament could sit through the night to try to reach an agreement, and time has also been set aside on Tuesday and Wednesday. Once it is agreed, the bill will go for Royal Assent, after which Mrs May can formally tell the rest of the EU that she is ready to start negotiating.

BBC chief political correspondent Vicki Young said she thought it likely that MPs would overturn the Lords’ amendments to the bill, and did not expect peers to try to block the bill any further. This could mean it was all “done and dusted by midnight” on Monday, she said.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told ITV’s Peston on Sunday that “no deal” would be “perfectly OK”, and the consequences were not “as apocalyptic as some people like to pretend”. But Conservative former deputy PM Lord Heseltine, who was sacked as an adviser last week after rebelling, dismissed his comments as “rubbish”, saying many Conservatives felt “betrayed”.

Mrs May has said she would rather take the UK out of the EU with no deal rather than a “bad deal”. No deal would result in trade rules defaulting to World Trade Organisation standards, meaning the UK and EU would be obliged to apply to each other the tariffs and other trade restrictions they apply to the rest of the world.

Tree Surgery Services for Newcastle & the North East

Tree Surgery Services for Newcastle & the North East
As the warmer weather begins to get closer many of us are starting to prepare for the summer to arrive by wiping away the cobwebs and having a really good spring clear out, but many of us overlook the garden until the hot weather really starts. If you would like to spend your summer enjoying your garden by having barbeques with your friends, tending your flowers or just simply relaxing while you sunbathe why not get your garden nice and tidy now before it has a chance to grow and get any more out of control?

If you have recently moved into a new property or have had a problem area within your garden for some time certain tasks can feel overwhelming or out of your control but don’t worry, with the right help and advice any garden issue can be solved with far less time and trouble than you might first think, leaving your outside space looking organised and far more spacious. If you feel that there really is too much to do you may want to consider bringing in a professional tree surgery service such as Stan Timmins and Sons Ltd to help you get the job done.

Problems such as ivy and other deep rooted weeds, diseased trees and massively overgrown areas within your garden can be difficult to solve if you don’t have the skills and equipment required to make sure the job is done safely and properly at Stan Timmins and Sons Ltd they cover a wide range of heavy garden tasks alongside an excellent range of tree surgery services so they will be able to help you solve any issues you may have within your garden or other outside space.

With a wide customer base across Newcastle and the North East you can take a look at some of the excellent reviews and testimonials that have been left as well as finding out more about the wide range of professional and fully insured services that they have on offer, so if you really want to make the most of your garden this summer why not get in touch with Stan Timmins and Sons to find out they can help you?

We believe at Stan Timmins Tree Surgeons that we can provide you with the quickest and most accurate tree surgery, to suit whatever work you need done. We offer the advantages listed above and we have had many customers who have praised us and thanked us for our work. You can see these customers at our Testimonials page. For further information on the range of gardening and tress surgery services available please call 07966 207280 or visit the Stan Timmins Tress Surgery website today.

Effective Search Engine Optimisation

Effective Search Engine Optimisation
If you are a new business and you want to make sure that you website is a success it may be a good idea to consider using the services of a professional internet marketing service such as Direct Submit to help you. Making sure that your website gets seen by potential customers or investors that will be interested in the goods or services that your business provides is a potential hurdle that every business faces regardless of their size or length of time within their industry, however with the correct skills and knowledge any website can really improve its chances of considerably raising its online profile.

By employing techniques such as search engine optimisation (SEO) Direct Submit can help you to reach the top pages of results produced by search engines such as Google, so people who are looking for the products or services that you provide are likely to find your page quickly and easily.  This is a particularly effective method and popular of internet marketing because not only does it send more traffic to your website, the traffic that is generated is much more likely to be well targeted to your business and doesn’t require the use of any expensive and time consuming advertising campaigns. As SEO can be a time consuming process that requires a lot of research, maintenance and adjustments to your website to be truly worthwhile so using the service of internet marketing company can be a really sensible investment.

Any new business takes up a lot of time and requires a lot of work so why not let a professional with all the required knowledge and expert skills required to do a to quality job do it for you so you can pay your attention to other, more immediate aspects of your business.  At Direct Submit they offer all service with very flexible terms giving you the option to simply hire them to set the initial process up or to continue to benefit from their support by taking advantage of the excellent maintenance and performance review services that are on offer as well.

At Direct Submit they are happy to offer help, advice and services to any businesses that are just starting out, no matter how large or small, with the skills and expertise to help any website become a success they will be able to offer you an effective internet marketing strategy that is completely tailored to your businesses individual needs by taking in to account other details such as location, customer target group, special offers, awards or achievements and many other factors.

With a friendly, efficient and flexible approach to all their customers you will be definitely be pleased with the results that Direct Submit can create for you. So if you want your new business to be seen online and have the best possible start why not talk to one of the friendly and fully trained team at Direct Submit to find out how they could help your company’s website boost its online profile?

To speak to one of our Internet Marketing Consultants for advice on making your Web Marketing project a success, call us now on 0845 272 2350 or email us on mail@directsubmit.co.uk. We look forward to your call.

Finding The Right Business Insurance

Use A Broker to find The Right Business Insurance

Managing the day to day aspects of a business can be tiring enough, but with the pressure on every business owner these days, it’s easy to forget about the legalities of insurance. If you own a business, there are many aspects of it which need to be insured, from your staff to your goods and services. For example, a vegetable farm might have to insure their workers, their machinery, plus their fleet of trucks or vans which deliver the produce.

It can be difficult to wade through the practicalities of insurance, so you should use an insurance broker. Here at Weir Insurance, we believe in customer satisfaction and in finding the right quote which will suit every need and aspect of one’s business. However, in this article, we’ll take a look at a few reasons as to why you should consider hiring a broker to find the right insurance. In Newcastle and Northumberland, there are many insurance brokers available to you, but Weir Insurance prides itself as being an insurance broker which combines in-depth experience with great customer service, leading you to a more profitable deal that works for everyone.

1. Experience

Brokers have decades worth of experience to help customers get the best possible quote. For example, take us here at Weir Insurance. We have been assisting customers with their insurance since 1972, so that’s almost forty years! With our number of staff working here for decades, if you add up each member’s experience, it would be hundreds of years’ worth of experience. Nothing beats the time tested experience of brokers, because they have the finesse to find the companies with the best cover at the best rates, and their intuition can help give you the advice you need.

2. Finding the Best Cover at The Best Price

With so many insurance companies out there, wading through lists of insurance companies and their rates is like going through a minefield, and with each company offering tens of options, it can be very difficult to know which is the best deal.

Some companies offer discounts, depending on how many years you’ve been with them, while others might combine rates together to give you the best deal. However, finding these deals takes more than a lot of work and time, it might also depend on luck. Since you’re looking through so many companies and the rates they offer, you might miss out on a great deal or on a combination which will earn you the best money.

With an insurance broker, they will scan through every company and every option they provide, to ensure that you’re covering everything you need, at the best affordable price. Insurance brokers know which insurance companies provide the best experience and value for certain businesses, and what covers they want.

3. Less Stress

With an insurance broker, all you have to do is give them the details of your business and what you want to insure, and leave them do the rest! By allowing us to use our time-tested experience in getting you a great quote, you won’t have to worry about anything. As long as we have all the details, such as what you want to cover and how many employees to insure, etc., you’ll have more time to keep running your business and make sure everything is running smoothly. Managing an entire business is a lot more efficient, when you don’t have to worry about insurance, too!

Conclusion

If you’re living anywhere in Northumberland or Newcastle, and you want an insurance broker that will combine the three benefits mentioned above into a solid customer experience, you should choose Weir Insurance! We’ll help you get the best deal, use our knowledge and invaluable experience to find the best quote, and give you a great customer experience. You’re in good hands!

Bug Found in Microsoft Browsing Code

Bug Found in Microsoft Browsing Code
Google has released details of a bug in Microsoft’s browsing programs that would allow attackers to build websites that make the software crash. Google researcher Ivan Fratric said the bug could, in some cases, allow attackers to hijack a victim’s browser. The bug was found in November, but details are only now being released after the expiry of the 90-day deadline Google gave Microsoft to find a fix.

Microsoft has yet to say when it will produce a patch that removes the bug.

In an explanation of how the bug arose, Mr Fratric said he was reluctant to reveal more details until it was patched. He said he had expected Microsoft to address the bug before the 90-day deadline had expired. The problem is found in Internet Explorer 11 as well as the Edge browser and arises because of the way both programs handle instructions to format some parts of web pages.

In a statement, Microsoft did not comment directly on the bug and its significance but said it had a “customer commitment to investigate reported security issues and proactively update impacted devices as soon as possible”. It added it was involved in “an ongoing conversation with Google about extending their deadline since the disclosure could potentially put customers at risk”.

So far, there is no evidence that malicious attackers are exploiting the problem unearthed by Mr Fratric.

The publication of information about the browser bug caps a difficult period for Microsoft and the security of its software.

Earlier this month, it cancelled a regularly monthly security update without explaining why. The update was expected to include fixes for several significant vulnerabilities. In the same month, other security researchers released information about a way to exploit a vulnerability in some Microsoft server code.

No fix has yet been released for this vulnerability.

New Drivers Using Mobile Phones May Lose Licence

New Drivers Using Mobile Phones May Lose Licence
Drivers caught using a phone within two years of passing their test will have their licence revoked under new rules in England, Scotland and Wales. Penalties for using a phone at the wheel double from 1 March to six points and a £200 fine. New drivers who get six points or more must retake their practical and theory. More experienced drivers can be banned if they get 12 points in three years.

The tougher punishments come alongside a hard-hitting advertising campaign. In 2015 – the latest year for which figures are available – 22 people were killed and 99 seriously injured in accidents where a driver was using their phone.

Police forces have begun a seven day crackdown, with extra patrols and an “increased focus” on stopping people using their phones while driving.

About 3,600 drivers were handed penalties in the last co-ordinated enforcement week from 23-29 January, the Department for Transport said.

Adverts aimed at discouraging phone use have been developed by the government’s road safety group Think! and the AA Charitable Trust, and will be shown at cinemas and on billboards, radio and social media.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “It may seem innocent, but holding and using your phone at the wheel risks serious injury and even death to yourself and other road users. Doubling penalties will act as a strong deterrent to motorists tempted to pick up their phone while driving and will also mean repeat offenders could find themselves banned from our roads if they are caught twice.”

Calls to prevent drivers using phones intensified last year in the wake of several high-profile cases and research indicating that it was widespread.

In October, lorry driver Tomasz Kroker, who killed a mother and three children while distracted by his phone, was jailed for 10 years.

Edmund King, president of the AA, said too many drivers were addicted to their phones. “We need to break this addiction and the best way is for drivers to go cold turkey – turn off the phone and put it in the glove box.”

Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, National Police Chiefs’ Council roads policing lead, said: “We need people to understand that this is not a minor offence that they can get away with.”

Make More of your Conservatory with Conservatories Blinds

Make More of your Conservatory with Conservatories Blinds
If you want to give your conservatory a lift and make it into a room that you can really enjoy spending time in getting some new conservatory roof blinds could be a really good idea, at Conservatory Blinds Direct they offer an excellent range of high quality made to measure blinds that you can have delivered directly to your home.

No matter what type of conservatory you may have you will have no problem finding the type of conservatory roof binds that you may require, and with fittings designed for many types of conservatory available at Conservatory Blinds Direct you can be sure to find everything that you need to make your conservatory look absolutely fantastic. With an excellent measuring guide available giving you all the information you need to be absolutely certain your measurements are correct and you have all the materials your require regardless of whether you have a P-Shaped conservatory, an Georgian conservatory or a Lean Too Design creating the design you want couldn’t be easier.

With an impressive selections of designs on offer if you are looking for inspiration or are looking for something really unique at Conservatory Blinds Direct you are certain to find something that will complement the rest of your conservatory perfectly.   Whether you are looking for a design that is patterned or completely plain with so many choices and colours available you are sure to find the perfect shade or pattern to match the rest of your decor, and with so many types of blind in stock including venetian blinds, roller blinds, pinoleum roof blinds, vertical blinds and pleated blinds you may find it hard to make a choice, you can also add extra items such as bi-fold door blinds to really complete the look.

Adding conservatory roof blinds to your conservatory will not only make it look more pleasant it will also enable you to control the temperature more effectively making it comfortable to use all year round, at Conservatory Blinds Direct they use Advanced Solar control technology in the fabrics that they use, this special coating reflects radiation from the sun helping to cut heat build-up by up to 66%, adding blinds can also help keep you conservatory warmer during the winter months by preventing cold air from entering and helping to keep the warmth in so you can enjoy your beautiful conservatory no matter what the weather may be like outside.

Ordering conservatory roof blinds direct to your door couldn’t be easier with Conservatory Blinds Direct, with a full fitting service available as well all you need to do is choose the blinds that are perfect for you, supply the measurements you require and they will do the rest of the hard work for you, and if you do find you need a bit of extra help or advise their friendly team of customer service staff are always available to answer any questions or queries that you may have.

So if you really want to make the most of your conservatory why take a look at some of the excellent blinds available at Conservatory Blinds Direct? With such a wide range of choice, easy ordering process and competitive pricing you definitely won’t be disappointed. Conservatory Blinds Direct is part of the InStyle group, a well-established supplier of conservatory roof and window blinds throughout the UK.

All of their Conservatory Blinds Direct products are made from the finest components and materials available, they are so confident in their products they are able to offer an industry unheard of 5 year Parts & Labour guarantee on all blinds made. As a leading UK manufacture to the window blind trade and now they are offering the chance for you to cut out that middle man and buy direct from the manufacture saving you hundreds and in some cases thousands of pounds over retail prices.

We are always happy to help and our friendly team will be happy to help you if you have any questions regarding an order, measuring, fitting or any of our products. Simply call on 01642 762497 or visit the Conservatory Blinds Direct website for more information.