Inflation rate, Internal Market Bill, redundancy, YouTube, GBK: your commercial news round-up

updated on 17 September 2020

As well as this week’s news round-up, you can also watch our latest webinar (live or via our YouTube), which will provide insight from a law firm partner at Squire Patton Boggs, a future Travers Smith trainee solicitor and a graduate recruitment officer from Baker McKenzie. For now, here’s the latest commercial news update from LCN.

  • The government’s Eat Out to Help Out Scheme and the VAT cut in August drove the UK inflation rate down to a five-year low of 0.2%, as discounts for more than 100 million meals were claimed via the scheme. Restaurant prices were 2.6% lower this year compared with August 2019.
  • Earlier this week MPs backed the Internal Market Bill by 340 votes to 263. Having passed its first hurdle in the Commons earlier this week, the bill still faces a number of critics, including Tory MPs who have warned that it risks damaging the UK by breaching international law. Ministers insist that the proposed law includes safeguards to protect Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK in case future trade deal negotiations with the EU break down.
  • While more than half of furloughed workers have returned to work following the UK’s lifting of lockdown, the number of people facing redundancy in the UK has risen at the fastest pace since the previous financial crisis. In the three months leading up to July, 156,000 people were made redundant, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). After the pandemic forced the UK into a lockdown towards the end of March, the ONS revealed that early indicators from HMRC highlighted that 695,000 workers had dropped from company payrolls.
  • YouTube is facing claims lodged against its parent company Google – the video-sharing platform has been accused of collecting the data of children under 13 without parental consent. The claim that YouTube has allegedly breached the privacy and data rights of under 13s in the UK has been submitted to the High Court. A spokesperson for the firm explained: “We don't comment on pending litigation. YouTube is not for children under the age of 13.

"We launched the YouTube Kids app as a dedicated destination for kids and have made further changes that allow us to better protect kids and families on YouTube."

Meanwhile, privacy expert Duncan McCann said: “We need to focus on how the internet is using our children, and ask ourselves if we're comfortable with them becoming a product for these digital platforms?"

  • Restaurant chain Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) has been put up for sale by its owner, following a difficult lockdown period. According to Sky News, rivals Byron are interested in the chain with a plan to combine the two businesses. Sources in the hospitality industry revealed that Deloitte is handling the potential sale of GBK, although it remains unclear whether the chain will be sold as a solvent business.

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