The Best of the Weekend Business Papers 27 September 2020

February 2


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We had a very exciting guest to launch Season 6 of The 1% Podcast. Tim Harkness is an expert in maximising the performance of elite athletes globally and for the last 11 years has held the title of Head of Sports Science & Psychology at Chelsea FC.


Across his career, Tim has worked with a diverse group of winning athletes including Indian Olympian Gold Medallist Abhinav Bindra, the @Indian National Cricket Team and was Team Psychologist to the Saudi Arabian National Football Team when they won the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Tim recently published his first book, ’10 Rules for Talking: An Expert’s Guide to Mastering Difficult Conversations’. It’s packed with great advice from someone who has coached in communication and high-performance culture across the globe. It addresses some of the essential themes around personal interaction, how we think, how we express ourselves and create meaning from these interactions.
During our conversation, Tim and we talk through a range of subjects including creating great conversations, decision-making, focus, communication across different cultures and lessons from the book. The advice is both accessible and practicable.


  • The Business Post says calls are growing for a Vat cut for the hospitality and tourism sector
  • The Sunday Independent says Aer Lingus is restoring operational staff pay from 30% to 50%
  • The Sunday Times has news of a survey showing that three in five tourism businesses expect to cut jobs
  • The FT reports that a further 1m people in the UK will lose their job by the end of the year
  • The WSJ says global trade is rebounding more quickly than it did after the 2008 crash










“We’re going to have to wait and see what happens.”

– US President Donald Trump when asked if he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power.






“Budget Vat rate cut demanded as hotels predict winter crisis” is the splash on this week’s paper. Aaron Rogan, Aiden Corkery and Roisin Burke report that the government is to set to come under “intense pressure” to cut the 13.5% VAT rate for the hospitality and tourism sector in the upcoming budget after a new survey finds that 88% of hotel rooms will lie empty for the month of November. The survey was carried out by the Irish Hotels Federation who said that the sector was on the “economic frontline of the Covid-19 crisis” warning that up to 200,000 jobs could be lost.

The worst of the pandemic is over and warnings from public health authorities of a deadly second wave are scaremongering. That’s according to Pat Byrne, the CEO of CityJet who features in a story by Peter O’Dwyer on the inside pages. In Byrne’s view Ireland is ignoring evidence from across Europe showing that the surge in the virus has not resulted in a proportionate rise in deaths. He also has some choice words for the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) saying: “Who the hell are Nphet? There’s no balance. We’re relying on four of five people in Nphet and their desktop f**king modelling, you know?”

Michael Brennan reports that commercial landlords are going to be asked to give rent breaks to businesses hit by Covid-19 restrictions under a new voluntary code of conduct Minister for Business Leo Varadkar is due to launch this week. However, business groups say it won’t be enough to help businesses struggling to pay the rent with Adrian Cummins, chief executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland saying: “You’re not bringing out the big tanks to fight the battle here. You’re bringing out a pellet gun.”

Employers who unilaterally cut the pay of their employees due to Covid-19 could face court action for “breach of contract”. That’s according to a story by Rachel Lavin who reports on a warning from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions that employers should have gotten their employees’ consent before unilaterally cutting their pay.

In Brief

  • Galway investment company Acorn Life paid a €13m dividend last year
  • The Arts Council has called for a special 9% VAT rate to support the arts sector
  • AIB has signalled that it may resume portfolio sales as it looks to reduce non-performing loans
  • The Irish Distillers’ Association wants a more stringent legal definition of Irish whiskey
  • Dermot Desmond has invested a further €143k into his son’s restaurant consultancy firm
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Operational staff at Aer Lingus will see their pay increase to 50% of its pre-Covid level according to this week’s top business story. However Ferghal O’Connor reports that the move will see the airline pay many staff just €3.80 per hour from its own resources, with the rest coming from government supports.

Also on the front of the business pages Samantha McCaughren reports that Dilosk, the non-bank lender which trades under the ICS Mortgages brand, expects its assets under management to reach €1bn next year. In an interview with the paper, CEO Fergal McGrath said the company was on track to write business worth up to €200m this year.

In a worrying sign of the job losses that could be coming down the tracks, a third of businesses in Ireland are considering reducing or restructuring their workforce because of Covid-19. That’s the finding of a survey by global advisory firm Willis Towers Watson which also reveals that two-thirds of employers have implemented a hiring freeze or have actively reduced hiring.

While most of us are preoccupied with the pandemic another spectre looming large is Brexit. Sean Pollack reports that Revenue Commissioners have started calling 14,000 businesses as part of its “Brexit readiness programme.” According to the report, the businesses identified for the calls are those with a significant level of trade with the UK which are not yet registered for customs.

In Brief
  • German company Lufthansa Technik is to open a new aircraft engine repair station in Dublin
  • Fintech company Curve has seen a spike in Irish users after adding more mobile payment features
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“Job losses in the air as tourism is grounded” is the worrying headline over this week’s top business story. The story is based on a survey of 950 tourism businesses by Failte Ireland which found that three in five expect to cut the number of staff they employ this autumn and winter, relative to last year. Commenting on the findings, Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, chief executive of the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation said the hospitality and tourism sector “needs serious government support if is to get through a long, cold winter when demand is negligible.”

In another front page story Niall Brady reports that up to 30,000 businesses will come off payment breaks this week as banks end a six-month debt holiday for borrowers struggling from the fallout from Covid-19. It comes as Finance Minister Pascal Donohue meets bank chiefs to discuss what they propose to do with businesses and homeowners unable to resume normal debt repayments.

Some property news and the joint owners of the Ilac shopping centre have been denied permission for a 24-hour casino in the Dublin mall. Property company Hammerson and insurer Irish Life sought planning approval in July to turn a vacant unit in the mall into a casino with an ancillary “family entertainment” area.

In Brief

  • Aviva has compensated about 4,000 investors in one of its property funds for a pricing error
  • Chartered Accountants Ireland said that 85% of this year’s students passed their final exams
The Sunday Times is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >





The FT leads with a warning that a further 1m people in the UK will lose their job by the end of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Under the headline “Axe set to fall on 1m jobs this year” the paper says economists are predicting “a wave of redundancies” across the country with younger people and low-skilled workers the worst hit.

Staying with the pandemic and German company Bosch claims it has developed a Covid-19 portable testing machine which it says can deliver a result within 40 minutes. The machine could be a game-changer in the fight against the disease and would likely be used at airports and sporting events where people can wait for the results.

Famous rice brand “Uncle Ben’s” is to be renamed “Ben’s Original” and the image of the elderly African-American man used promoted to the brand for more than 70 years will be dropped. It comes as owner Mars acknowledged that the label promoted racial stereotypes.

The FT is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >




Global trade is rebounding much more quickly that it did in the year after the 2008 crash, according to this week’s Wall Street Journal. The paper says that while trade remains below its pre-pandemic level, it has snapped back “robustly” recovering about half of this year’s historic loss by June.

Microsoft said it plans to acquire ZeniMax Media, the owner of the popular video game franchise Doom, with a cash offer of $7.5bn. The deal would be Microsoft’s biggest games acquisition and comes amid a pandemic-fuelled surge for home entertainment.

Finally, the fate of popular video sharing app TikTok in the US hangs in the balance as it remains to be seen if a deal to sell the company will be approved by American and Chinese governments. Last week it was announced that Walmart and Oracle had reached an agreement with TikTok’s owner Bytedance to buy the US version of the app in a move which would see it become a separate US-based company. However, the clock is “tick toking” on the deal as the app faces a complete ban in the US by 12 November over data security concerns.
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All views are strictly my own brief interpretation of the articles in the various publications and not intended to be comprehensive. 
Please feel free to forward to friends or colleagues and get in touch if you wish to add contacts to the mailing list.
Have a good week. 



Shay Dalton 
Managing Director – Lincoln Recruitment Specialists




T: +353 1 661 0444/



A: 5 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2




© 2020 All Rights Reserved – Lincoln Recruitment Specialists

About the Author


Lincoln Recruitment (1) 661 0444

Recruiting Excellence

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