CBI boss Tony Danker steps aside after misconduct allegations

CBI boss Tony Danker steps aside after misconduct allegations

The boss of one of the UK’s largest business groups has stepped aside while an investigation takes place into complaints about his conduct at work.

The CBI said it took all matters of workplace conduct “extremely seriously”, but would not comment further until the probe was complete.

In a tweet, Tony Danker said he was “mortified” to hear that he had caused “offence or anxiety to any colleague”.

“It was completely unintentional, and I apologise profusely,” he wrote.

The CBI said it was first made aware of an allegation regarding Mr Danker’s workplace conduct involving a female employee in January. It said it had investigated this “thoroughly” at the time and “dealt with it comprehensively”.

It said it decided at the time decided that the issue did not require escalation to a disciplinary process.

However, in early March, the CBI said it was made aware of new reports regarding Tony Danker’s workplace conduct.

“We have now taken steps to initiate an independent investigation into these new matters,” the CBI said in a statement.

“The CBI takes all matters of workplace conduct extremely seriously but it is important to stress that until this investigation is complete, any new allegations remain unproven … Read More

Starbucks to open 100 new UK stores this year

Starbucks to open 100 new UK stores this year

Starbucks plans to open 100 new stores across the UK this year, while investing millions of pounds in upgrading existing cafes.

It comes as the world’s largest coffee chain reported a big jump in sales in the UK for 2022, continuing its recovery from the pandemic.

Last year the firm was reportedly looking to sell its British operations.

Starbucks, which launched in the UK in 1998, has over 1,000 outlets in the country.

Its UK expansion comes despite inflation – the rate at which prices rise – being near a 40-year-high, pushing up the cost of ingredients for the firm and eating into its profits.

The firm also plans to open 300 new stores in the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

However, Duncan Moir, who lead’s firm’s EMEA business, said he remained “cautious” about economic outlook.

“Like many other businesses”, he said Starbucks had faced challenges including shortages of HGV drivers, rising supplier costs and shipping delays.

It is also struggling with higher energy bills and demands for higher wages from staff.

Hospitality companies across the UK have been putting up pay as they face a shortage of workers and the cost of living rises. Pret … Read More

Talks to avert new train strikes close to failure

Talks to avert new train strikes close to failure

National level talks between the Rail Delivery Group and the RMT appear to be on the brink of failure, as another train strike looms next Thursday.

Now, the RDG, which represents train companies, has written to the union saying that if the latest offer is not put to union members in a vote, national level talks may not resume.

It says talks would have to be opened between the RMT and each individual train company involved.

The RMT has been contacted for comment.

The national rail dispute has been at an impasse since the RMT’s national executive committee rejected “best and final” offers from rail bosses.

The RDG will wait for the RMT’s response before deciding how to proceed.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) and the RMT – the largest rail union – have been negotiating for months.

Unions have been calling for an unconditional pay offer during talks with the RDG and Network Rail.

The RMT has previously said it is “focused on coming to a negotiated settlement”, and that it had carried out an “in-depth consultation” before the decision to reject was made. As well as an unconditional pay offer, it called for “a job security agreement and … Read More

First class stamp price to rise to £1.10

First class stamp price to rise to £1.10

The price of a first class stamp is to rise above £1 in April, Royal Mail has announced.

From 3 April, first class stamps will increase by 15p to £1.10, while second class stamps will rise by 7p to 75p.

Royal Mail said the increases were needed to ensure the “one-price-goes-anywhere Universal Service remains sustainable”.

But Citizens Advice said nobody should be paying more for a “subpar service” and called for the regulator to act.

The price increases will come in the day before the first stamps with the image of King Charles go on general sale.

Royal Mail said the changes had been subject to “careful consideration” with letter volumes down 25% since the pandemic and with the business facing rising costs.

“We appreciate that many businesses and households are facing a challenging economic environment and we are committed to keeping our prices affordable,” said Nick Landon, chief commercial officer at Royal Mail.

“We have to carefully balance our pricing against a continued decline in letter volumes and the increasing costs of delivering letters six days a week to an ever-growing number of addresses across the country.”

However, the move was sharply criticised by Citizens Advice.

“These record-breaking prices … Read More

Energy Price Guarantee expected to continue at same level in April

Energy Price Guarantee expected to continue at same level in April

The chancellor is expected to extend the Energy Price Guarantee at current levels for a further three months.

Typical household energy bills were scheduled to rise to £3,000 a year from April, but calls have been made for the government to retain its current level of support with the cap at £2,500.

The level of help is now expected to be maintained, but energy firms have been asked to prepare for both scenarios.

The Treasury declined to comment.

At the moment, the government is limiting the typical household bill to £2,500 a year, plus a £400 winter discount.

From 1 April the help is scheduled to be scaled back, and the £400 discount will come to an end, which could push people’s bills up despite the weather getting warmer.

Fuel poverty campaigners have said the number of households struggling to afford bills could rise from 6.7 million to 8.4 million as a result of the April rise.

However, industry sources told the BBC that some energy companies have already started amending future bills to reflect that energy help will continue at or very near to current levels beyond 1 April.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to date has declined to extend the … Read More