By DebbieH 16 Mar 2018 7 min read

In the news this week: Toys R Us, HSBC, and the Spring Statement

The news that Toys R Us is to close all UK stores hit the headlines this week, resulting in the loss of 3,000 jobs. HSBC revealed that its gender pay gap is a huge 60% and Unilever is moving its HQ to Rotterdam over London. Also in the news, Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his Spring Statement and Crocs have lost out in court as EU judges rule that their design can’t be protected in Europe.

Toys R Us is to close all of its UK stores over the next six weeks which will mean that 3,000 employees will lose their jobs. The firm failed to find a buyer in time, though it will “remain open to interest from potential buyers for parts of the business”. The retailer has more than 100 stores across the UK, 25 of which were scheduled to close this week.  

HSBC has reported the largest gender pay gap of any major company in the UK so far in the new government scheme. This is largely to do with the ratio of men and women in senior roles. Women make up less than a quarter of these roles and the majority of junior roles which has resulted in the vast disparity in average pay.

Unilever has decided to move its headquarters to Rotterdam rather than London. The company insists that the decision was “not about Brexit” and is to make the company a single legal entity. However, the move has been described as a “major blow” to the UK government by anti-Brexit campaigners.

EU judges have ruled that the design for Crocs cannot be protected in Europe. As the patent application was filed two years after the product was first introduced, judges said it was invalid. Designs must not have been made public more than a year before the application is filed.

Philip Hammond delivered the Spring Statement this week and declared that there is “light at the end of the tunnel”. He delivered an optimistic statement and has hinted at possible increases in spending for the NHS. Labour immediately accused the chancellor of “astounding complacency”.