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Ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh for staff of general insurance



The four government-owned non-life insurers — The Oriental Insurance, The National Insurance Company, The New India Assurance Company, and The United India Insurance Company — will pay an ex-gratia amount of of Rs 10 lakh to the nominees of the employees who have died of COVID-19 since the outbreak, or happen to die of it in the future.

One of the four, The Oriental Insurance Company, has already communicated to its staff about the ex-gratia payment via a circular. It has also assured reimbursement of 100 per cent of the remaining medical expenses — which were not covered by the Staff Group Mediclaim policy — incurred for the treatment of the employees/spouses/children and dependent parents.

This benefit is offered over and above the prevailing ex-gratia Medical Relief Scheme for certain diseases. The benefits will be paid to those who contracted COVID-10 after the outbreak happened last year and also to those who may contract the infection in the future.

The other three insurers are expected to officially announce this ex-gratia payment soon.

About three weeks ago, the Supreme Court had directed the Union government to frame— within six weeks — uniform guidelines on ex-gratia payments to the surviving families/dependents of those who lost their lives to the disease. The Court also stated that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) failed in its duty to design a compensation scheme.

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Classplus offers ‘ReSOPs’ as referral bonus to staff



Classplus, the three-year old mobile platform that helps coaching institutes, teachers and content creators launch their online teaching apps, has announced its first ever ESOP buyback for its employees. All eligible employees who have vested units of ESOPs will be allowed to liquidate up to 100 per cent of their vested shares, by selling them back to the Company. Interestingly, the Company is offering stock options, as referral bonus, calling them “ReSOPs”. These will be offered to employees who refer suitable candidates who are then successfully hired.

The ReSOPs are expected to encourage existing staff members to refer suitable candidates for existing and potential openings, thereby helping the organisation fulfil its talent needs. All full-time employees are eligible for ReSOPs, which will vest faster than ordinary ESOPs.

Calling this a “huge milestone for the Classplus Clan”, and thanking all those who participated in the programme, Mukul Rustagi, co-founder & CEO, Classplus, admits this is a “dream come true moment” for everyone.

More than 30 employees participated in the buyback with an ESOP realisation pool of $1M. Classplus has grown rapidly in the last one and a half years raising 4 rounds of funding and enabling a digital identity for 100,000 teachers who use the platform to teach over 20 million students across more than 1500 cities in India. The mobile-first SaaS platform raised $65 million in a Series C round led by Tiger Global in June. The platform facilitates content creation, distribution, and monetisation for not just academic educators, but also non-academic instructors, trainers, and coaches.

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£62,000 for picking vegetables and fruits?



TH Clements and Son, a British firm that supplies fresh vegetables and fruits to supermarkets, is paying very attractive salaries to workers keen to pick cabbage and broccoli. Its ads offer an annual pay of up to £62,000, which is about Rs 63 lakh, to workers to pick cabbage and harvest broccoli!

The workers will have to work eight hours a day and five days a week, to earn £30 per hour or £1,200 a week, that is, £4,800 a month. That means, in a year, these workers can earn a total of £62,400.

The Lincolnshire-based wholesaler of vegetables is understaffed, due to COVID-related mobility restrictions and Brexit restricting migrant labourers.

The Company’s ads call out to workers to work as ‘field operatives’ full time. The ad clarifies that the workers will be paid depending on the amount of work they do, that is, the amount of vegetables or fruits they pick.

Even warehouses across Britain have been forced to hike the pay of their staff by up to 30 per cent as workers are hard to come by. The supply chains have already been struggling with dearth of resources for some time now. With the festive season fast approaching, employers and recruiters are finding it challenging to find replacements for European workers and migrants who used to turn up for the festival rush, to help out at the distribution centres and storehouses.

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What makes a great first impression when attending an interview



With restrictions easing and normality beginning to return, first impressions are once again becoming very important. Whether attending an interview or starting a new job, it takes just a matter of seconds for an employer to judge you. But just how important are first impressions to us, and how do physical appearances impact our opinion of someone’s character?

Lenstore has surveyed 1,000 people across the UK to find out the truth behind first impressions. This includes the biggest contributing factors of our perception of others when meeting for the first time – both positively and negatively -, as well as the physical attributes we assume relate to certain personality traits.

The impact of first impressions on our personality perceptions

The study analysed our personality assumptions based on first impressions to see which physical appearances indicate certain characteristics. 

1. How to communicate intelligence 

The top three factors that we assume makes someone intelligent are:

  1. Eye contact (15%)
  2. Smart clothes (14%)
  3. Good posture (13%)

Eye contact was found to be the most important factor when communicating intelligence, it’s interesting to see one in six people (14%) also see smart clothes as an indicator of intelligence, as well as good posture. 

Known for indicating intelligence, it’s unsurprising that over 1 in 10 people perceive people with glasses to be more intelligent. Interestingly, people see someone that is clean-shaven as significantly more intelligent than someone with facial hair (10% vs 4%).

Plastic surgery, wearing coloured contact lenses, piercings, bad odour and heavy make-up are considered the least contributing factors to intelligence.

2. How to communicate confidence

The top three factors that we assume makes someone confident are:

  1. Eye contact (27%)
  2. Good posture (26%)
  3. Smiles a lot (23%)

Just under 1 in 3 people see eye contact as an indicator of confidence and the biggest sign of this trait. 1 in 10 people find people that are clean-shaven and the smell of perfume or aftershave as a sign of confidence, whilst the lowest contributing factors are being overweight (3%) and having bad odour (3%).

When it comes to being shy, more than 1 in 3 people see lack of eye contact as the biggest indicator of this, followed by someone that doesn’t smile and has a loose handshake. 

3. How to communicate trustworthiness

The top three factors that we assume makes someone trustworthy are:

  1. Eye contact (20%)
  2. Smiles a lot (15%)
  3. Good posture (14%)

1 in 5 people see eye contact as a key indicator of trustworthiness. Along with smiling and good posture, 1 in 10 find that smart clothes and being clean-shaven also indicate a trustworthy personality.

4. Things to Avoid When Attending an Interview 

The study also analysed the top three factors that make us assume someone may be untrustworthy. 

The top three factors that we assume makes someone untrustworthy are:

  1. Avoids eye contact (23%)
  2. Doesn’t smile (13%)
  3. Bad odour (12%)

Almost 1 in 4 find a lack of eye contact as a key sign of untrustworthiness. Other key attributes include a loose handshake and poor posture where an average of 1 in 10 people find this mistrusting.

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1 in 10 are kept awake by the dread of going to work



A recent survey revealed that over 4 in 10 Brits don’t sleep well on an average night, but why?

The study, by And So To Bed, asked 1000 Brits about their sleeping habits to reveal what is most likely to keep them awake at night, the study revealed that over HALF of the UK (55%) can’t hack the heat when attempting to sleep. This was followed by a THIRD being kept awake by anxiety (36%). 1 in 10 admitted that their job and the dread of going to work kept them awake at night.

These are the 20 things keeping the UK up at night

1 Being too hot 55%
2 Anxiety 36%
3 Needing the toilet 30%
4 Partner snoring 23%
5 Your phone 20%
6 Depression 17%
7 The light (street lights or brighter mornings) 16%
8 Being too cold 16%
9 A headache 15%
10 Pain 14%
11 Uncomfortable bed 14%
12 Road traffic noises 13%
13 Neighbours 13%
14 Nightmares 12%
15 Too much caffeine 12%
16 Medical conditions 11%
17 Your period 11%
18 Your job (the dread of going the next morning) 10%
19 Co-Sleeping with a child 10%
20 Partner taking up too much space in the bed 10%

A THIRD of the UK rely on sleeping aids for a restful night- and some are eating kiwis…

So, how are Brits managing to get some shut-eye? A third turn to sleep aids, with two in 10 opting for a herbal remedy and over one in 10 relying on prescribed medication to get some kip.

The study also revealed that nearly a THIRD of Brits are taking naps during the day while working from home in order to catch up after a night of poor sleep.

The things Brits have admitted to doing as a result of poor sleep

Slept elsewhere, such as the sofa, to sleep better 54%
Had a nap while working from home 29%
Fallen asleep on public transport 28%
Recorded your partner snoring as evidence 23%
Hit your partner to stop them snoring 22%
Kicked a partner out of bed to get a better night’s sleep 15%
Tried a ‘hack’ to sleep better 11%
Nodded off behind the wheel when driving 7%
Broken up with or considered breaking up with a partner because of their snoring 6%

Six expert tips for better sleep

Dr Lindsay Browning, psychologist and sleep expert at And So To Bed, shares these six tips for better sleep:

1. Have a regular bedtime and wake time

Keeping a regular wake and bedtime seven days per week will help you sleep better. When you keep a regular sleep schedule your body develops a robust circadian rhythm which helps you to sleep at the right time at night. If you go to bed early and wake up early on weekdays, but stay up late and have a lie-in on the weekend, you are giving yourself weekend “jet-lag” – making it much harder to go to sleep early on a Sunday night ready for another early start on Monday morning!

2. Increase your exercise levels

As well as being essential for overall health, exercise directly impacts your need for “deep sleep” at night. The more you exercise, the more deep sleep you will have. Deep sleep helps you to feel refreshed when you wake up, and helps with sleep continuity. 

Make sure that you exercise during the daytime and not too close to bedtime, as exercise in the evening can sometimes be disruptive to sleep, due to the release of endorphins and adrenaline.

3. Stop your caffeine intake at 11am

Caffeine has an average half life of 5-7 hours. That means that 5-7 hours after your cup of coffee, half of the caffeine is still in your system! Caffeine is not only found in tea and coffee, but also in chocolate and in soft drinks such as cola and energy drinks, including the sugar-free variety. If you have trouble sleeping then it is recommended for you to have your last cup of caffeine of the day at around 11am.

4. Night time digital detox

Make sure that you switch off your electronic devices an hour before bed, in particular, your phone. Smartphones emit blue light which is the same as daylight. This tricks the brain into thinking it is day time which can make it difficult to transition into sleep mode when bedtime rolls around. Try reading a book or meditating before you sleep instead.

5. Have a warm bath before bed

Having a relaxing warm bath before bed, will not only help you to wind down after a busy day, but also the temperature of the bath will help you sleep. When you go to sleep, your body temperature naturally decreases, which is why 55% of the UK find it so difficult to sleep in the heat. 

If you have a warm bath, then you artificially raise your body temperature and when you come out of the warm bath, your body temperature will naturally start to drop, mimicking the drop in temperature that happens as you fall asleep, making you feel sleepier.

6. Don’t lie in bed for long periods if you can’t sleep

If you can’t sleep, then lying still in bed trying to sleep is one of the worst things you can do. The longer you lie in bed trying to sleep and clock watching, paradoxically the more anxious you are likely to get about not sleeping. 

It is much better to get out of bed and do something else for a while instead of lying in bed not sleeping for hours, grab some warm milk or read another chapter of a book- just resist reaching for your phone!”

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