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There's no doubt Covid 19 has left a shadow on all our lives in one way or another. Families lost so many loved ones, key workers demonstrated bravery unknown by most of us in civilian life and many workers lost their jobs owing to business closures.
If you said goodbye to someone dear to your heart you have our deepest sympathies, if you're a key worker we salute your efforts in the face of such adversity and if you've lost your job we hope you see a swift return to employment.
As lockdown gained momentum we like many recruitment agencies saw large numbers of our temporary workers laid off, so facing the prospect of no work, waiting for furlough payments or looking for alternative employment we didn't want to see our workers without wages.
For many years now we have always; "Paid our workers on time, treated them with respect and dignity and above all valued their efforts and results," so, at this time we knew we could not let them down when they needed us most.
We wanted to make sure we could not only furlough our workers but pay them from our own pockets while all the time waiting for the Government to launch their Job Retention Scheme portal to pay us back.
So, as our clients laid off our workers we took the decision to pay them, every week as per the Government advised 80% furlough rate. They were never without the wages they needed to pay bills, feed families and lead their lives as best they could in such desperate times.
For us this was a simple decision, to put money in the pockets of workers who through no fault of their own were now facing the prospect of having no money or waiting months for the Government to pay out.
Now, as lockdown starts to subside we see families reunite, pubs and shops reopen and for most of us a slow return to normality. But, what will this new 'normal' mean for us all? Will we be working from home, shopping online or simply enjoying more of the serenity of open spaces?
Only time will tell, but here at BNJ we are pleased to see our clients rehire the workers they were forced to lay off, new clients hire workers leading to opportunities for many and a gradual push forward to a stimulated economy.
It is the town of Tamworth, just a few miles north-east of Birmingham.
A combination of luck and good judgement means unemployment has fallen faster here than anywhere else in England, Scotland or Wales.
Between early 2012 and last September, the town's headline rate of unemployment more than halved, from 9.9% to 4.7%.
The number of people telling the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that they were out of work and looking for a job fell from 3,400 to 1,800 in just two and a half years.
The revival of employment in Tamworth seems to have had a dramatic effect on local wage rates.
According to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), the average earnings of people working full-time in the town rose by a whopping 16% last year to £28,000.
Source BBC News. Read more here
Unfortunately not. A zero-hour contract basically means there's no guarantee of work. This kind of contract means you're only paid for the hours you work.
Watch out for sick-pay exemption, and any obligations you have to take the hours you're offered under such contracts. Some will make you do them, some won't. And you may not have the same employment rights as you would in a traditional contract. Rather than make you redundant, an employer may just not give you any work, leaving you in limbo.
There's little financial security because of the risk of not getting enough hours to make ends meet.
Lots, including the voluntary sector, tourist attractions, pubs, fast-food restaurants, retailers, local councils, government workers, even Buckingham Palace.
You may not have many options but to work your notice and go after a new job, unless the contract breaches UK employment law or your employer has broken the contract. For help, contact Citizens' Advice: Zero hours: so you get paid to do nothing?
You've made it this far and bagged an interview. Great. But what do you actually have to say to impress your potential employer? More importantly, what don't you say? Follow these top tips to make the best impression.
It's easy to be nervous at interview and say the wrong thing. Good preparation can help make sure you go in there with a clear focus about what to say and turn the interview to your advantage.
When preparing for an interview you should put together a bank of example questions and prepare answers. Here's a list of common interview questions to get you started.
Meanwhile, knowing when to stop talking is key. It's easy to talk yourself into a hole, or say the wrong things, like criticising a previous boss a little too much. The current interviewer will be worried that if you moan about your previous employer too easily, you may also moan about this place if and when you leave.
For some people an interview can feel so daunting that they'd rather not think about it beforehand but hope that they can wing it on the day. But if you just rely on leaving it to luck you are more likely to be affected by nerves and come across hesitant. However, with some careful planning and thought you can ensure that you present yourself confidently and professionally on the day.
A wealth of information about work in general
ACAS - Promoting employment relations and HR excellence
Health & Safety Executive