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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 15July 2010

 Are you a budding amateur cook?

CHANNEL 4 are looking for amateur cooks to take part in a potential new exciting television series.  They will tour across the UK in teams and compete against one another in different cooking tasks... in a battle to be crowned ‘top chefs’.  If you think your passion, sizzle and food could give rival cooks a run for their money - then we want to hear from you!  Can you stand the heat... or will you have to get out of the kitchen?  Apply to take part by email or by calling:- 0207 534 2033 and telling us about yourself and your passion for cooking. No professional cooking experience is necessary.

Bed heads under fire from stressed out bosses

BOSSES under pressure from the recession are landing in hot water by taking a tough line with tardy employees, according to employment law experts.  Lateness costs British businesses £1.8 billion every year and stressed UK bosses are cracking down, with 1 in 6 prepared to sack an employee for being late just two or three times.

However, businesses must follow the rules. Documented, objective, fair warnings must be given in writing and the employee must have the chance to correct any issues.  In legal terms, being late for work comes under general misconduct and doesn’t warrant dismissal for a first offence.  Bosses who don’t follow the rules could end up at an Employment Tribunal and be ordered to reinstate or re-engage the employee in a similar post, or more commonly, give financial compensation to the employee.

The warning comes as the Tribunal Service publishes figures showing a sharp increase in the number of employment tribunal cases brought against employers. Over the past year, employment tribunal cases have risen from 151,000 to 236,100, a 56% rise.

Neeta Laing, head of employment at law firm, Lewis Hymanson Small, said:- “If you want to dismiss an employee, follow the rules and avoid tribunal claims. Employment legislation is a minefield with many employers still unsure how to dismiss an employee properly. Employees should be given a verbal or written warning in the first instance. With many businesses still suffering as a result of the recession, consistently slow starters can add to the pressure and policies and procedures are often the last thing to be considered.  However, it is vital the correct systems, procedures and advice are in place to protect employers from costly and unwanted tribunals.”

All About Weight attacks Health Secretary

ALISON Wetton, MD of All About Weight, was outspoken in her criticism of Government plans to scrap the Food Standards Agency in its ‘bonfire of quangos’.

“Britain is gripped in an epidemic of obesity. Everybody understands that we are facing grim economic times, but giving up the fight to improve Britain’s diet will cost the country billions in future National Health Service costs.” said Mrs Wetton.

The Food Standards Agency was created 10 years ago to monitor food processors following the e.coli and CJD health scares. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley published a white paper that will announce the Agency’s demolition.

"Andrew Lansley was duped by the food companies when he agreed to dump plans for stiffer regulations on salt, sugar and fat in return for producers supporting healthy eating campaigns last week. Some regulatory control is vital to protect health." said Mrs Wetton.

All About Weight is promoting a large-scale health revolution to combat obesity in adults and children, and foster healthier attitudes towards food and lifestyle.  All About Weight is the fastest growing weight loss programme gaining over 30,000 customers in its first three years of trading. It is the only programme which mixes healthy food choices with specially prepared, full-nutrition Mealpaks.

"All About Weight has proved that clients using a combination of full-nutrition meal replacement and healthy foods can enjoy better weight loss results than those who follow a total abstinence programme, and maintain better health. The most important aspect of what we do is to change people’s mental attitude to weight loss and to educate them about how food works in the body. Not all food producers have the same responsible attitude to health,. You only have to hear what James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, said in today’s press, that retailers only stock what their customers want to buy and that his members will stop stocking unhealthy foods when customers stop buying them.  We don’t think that’s acceptable, and it indicates that self-regulation alone will not deal with the obesity crisis." said Mrs Wetton. 

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