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  • BBC Business News: Pension data 'sales' investigated
    The information watchdog launches an investigation into claims details of millions of people's pensions are being sold to fraudsters and cold-calling firms.
  • BBC Business News: Chinese shares test seven-year highs
    Asian shares get off to a positive start in a holiday-shortened trading week, with Chinese shares leading the region's gains on stimulus hopes.
  • CNN Business: Andrew Sullivan: Blogging nearly killed me
    Blogging was a medium -- and a lifestyle -- that Andrew Sullivan helped pioneer. It also nearly proved to be his undoing.
  • BBC Business News: Builders' confidence at record high
    A regular survey of Scotland's construction industry by the Scottish Building Federation finds confidence at a record high.
  • BBC Business News: Prada profit takes a hit from China
    Italian luxury goods retailer Prada sees its net profit fall 28% last year as sales slumped in major markets of China and Europe.
  • CNN Business: Ford's big Lincoln Continental is coming back
    New full-size Lincoln aims to bring serious respect to Ford's luxury division.
  • CNN Business: Apple's Tim Cook: Anti-gay laws are 'dangerous'
    Apple CEO Tim Cook has spoken out against anti-LGBT legislation in the U.S., saying the new laws are "very dangerous" and contrary to America's founding principles.
  • BBC Business News: VIDEO: NZ hopes to influence new China bank
    Former New Zealand Prime Minister Jenny Shipley explains why the country was the first western nation to support China's plan for a new development bank.
  • BBC Business News: Do MPs need a new building?
    What should we do with the Houses of Parliament?
  • BBC Business News: The couple who built a theatre empire
    How a husband and wife built the UK's biggest theatre group
  • Business Matters: Veuve Clicquot unveils Business Woman Award finalist shortlist

    Signifying the growth and success from a range of UK businesses’ the shortlist is from a broad mix of industry sectors:

    Katherine Garrett-Cox, CEO, Alliance Trust
    Julia Peyton-Jones, Director of Serpentine Galleries
    Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO, Mumsnet

    All finalists selected by the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award judging panel demonstrated the strongest evidence of satisfying all nomination criteria.

    Notable achievements include Katherine Garrett-Cox’s clear and ongoing success in the financial sector and her role as a champion of UK business on a global stage at Davos, Julia Peyton-Jones’ transformation of the Serpentine Gallery and creation of a new model of arts funding in Europe, and Justine Roberts’ creation of Mumsnet, who celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, becoming the most influential network for parents in the UK.

    Finalists for the third Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award were also announced today. The latest category aims to recognise up-and-coming female entrepreneurial talent in the UK. This year’s finalists demonstrate the breadth of young female entrepreneurial talent, with backgrounds as diverse as eco fashion, gaming for social good and consumer electronics.

    The finalists are, in alphabetical order:

    Emily Brooke, Founder, Blaze
    Jude Ower, Founder, Playmob
    Smruti Sriram, Director, Supreme Creations

    Taking over the House of Veuve Clicquot at just 27, Mme Clicquot exhibited a fearless approach to creative vision and business expansion, and this year’s winner will be no different.

    All finalists selected by the Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award judging panel demonstrated impressive evidence satisfying all areas of nomination criteria, including entrepreneurship, innovation and a strong sense of corporate social responsibility.

    Notable achievements included Emily Brooke’s innovative solution to safer night time cycling, Jude Ower taking the lead in the gaming for social good industry, as well as Smruti Sriram’s dedication to ethical supply chains, and female employment.

    Lorraine Larmer, Senior PR & Communications Manager, Veuve Clicquot comments: “The wealth of female business talent in the UK is huge and something that should be encouraged. Both award categories allow us to celebrate not only the titans of British business but also those that have identified an opportunity and are future game changers.

    Madame Clicquot was the first globally recognised female entrepreneur and even over one hundred years ago, demonstrated tremendous business acumen, innovation and desire to succeed – something that is fantastic to see in our nominees today.”

    The winner of both awards will be announced on the 11th May 2015 at a reception in The Ballroom at Claridge’s. The award’s high-profile judging panel is comprised of business leaders from various industries, including, Carolyn McCall, CEO, EasyJet, Harriet Green, ex-CEO Thomas Cook, Luke Johnson, Chairman, Risk Capital Partners, Shaa Wasmund, Founder, Smarta.com, Caroline Michel, CEO, Peters, Frasers & Dunlop as well as Ruth Rogers, River Cafe.

    Carolyn McCall, CEO, easyjet and previous winner of the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award and judging panel member, noted: “This award really showcases the range of female business talent and all the nominees are great role models for women in the world of business. Mme Clicquot would be proud of their determination, spirit and achievements. Encouraging entrepreneurial spirit in young women, and providing role models for future female business leaders is vital and this award is a great celebration of this purpose.”

  • Business Matters: Landmark legal case could impact how staff are paid commission

    The high profile Lock v British Gas case was heard at an Employment Tribunal after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) last year.

    In the case of Mr Lock, the ECJ ruled he was disadvantaged by the fact he couldn’t earn commission whilst on holiday and therefore this had an impact on his earnings in the following month.

    The Employment Tribunal has now determined that the UK’s Working Time Regulations can be interpreted in line with the European ruling.

    Now that it has cleared that ‘hurdle’, lawyers at national law firm Irwin Mitchell say it is likely to change the way that companies could pay some commission in the future and believe it could potentially open the floodgates for back pay from employees who have similar commission arrangements and believe they have been disadvantaged.

    Glenn Hayes, an Employment Partner at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The Tribunal decided that the Working Time Regulations can be reworded to enable UK legislation to comply with the requirements of the European Directive and it has suggested new wording to be added to the Regulations to enable it to do this. In essence, this means that workers whose remuneration includes commission or similar payments, should have their holiday pay calculated in the same way as workers whose pay varies according to how much work they actually do. Commission will have to be included in the calculation.

    “The reason for this is so that workers, in this case Mr Lock, are not put off taking holiday because of the financial disadvantage they would suffer. In Mr Lock’s case commission amounted to 60 per cent of his earnings, and he could not earn commission whilst on holiday – a clear deterrent from taking time off.

    “As Mr Lock’s case has cleared this hurdle, the Tribunal will have to determine, at another hearing, what compensation should be awarded by British Gas to ensure that workers like Mr Lock are not disadvantaged by taking a holiday. This is likely to be done by averaging his pay over a given reference period. The case however does not determine what that reference period should be, whether for example it should be averaged over a 12 week or a 12 month reference period. That is to be decided at a later date.

    “However, it is important to bear in mind here that Mr Lock’s commission scheme was straightforward. It is clear that Mr Lock suffered a loss when he took a holiday, albeit one that affected his later pay cheques, rather than the amount he received whilst on his holiday. Ascertaining loss will not be as straightforward in other cases where, for example, commission is paid annually, or where the scheme involves discretionary assessments based on a worker’s broader contribution or where this is in part based on individual performance as well as team performance. We are likely to need workers to bring further cases before we have answers to the more difficult cases.”

    The latest hearing coincides with research published by Irwin Mitchell and YouGov which reveals that almost 40% of senior business managers across the UK believe that their company’s payroll costs will increase as a result of recent and forthcoming legal cases concerning how holiday pay is calculated.

    Out of those businesses, 27 per cent said that they expected the financial impact on their staff overheads will be between six and 10%. One third were unsure.

    Significantly, 79 per cent of employees said that they were aware of recent judgments which said that some overtime and commission should be included in holiday pay, with one fifth saying they were considering making a claim.

    Half of those senior managers surveyed, which included chief executives and company directors, said that they do not have a plan for dealing with the issue.

    The issue of overtime and holiday pay was also under scrutiny last year via the Bear Scotland v Fulton case. Here the Employment Appeal Tribunal found non-guaranteed overtime should be included in holiday pay calculations. It also however decided that the opportunity for claims for underpayment would be limited if there was a break of more than three months between one underpayment and another.

  • BBC Business News: ABN Amro executives renounce bonus
    Executives at the Dutch bank ABN Amro have renounced a €100,000 allowance after a public outcry over the extra pay.
  • BBC Business News: Deal creates largest travel retailer
    Swiss firm Dufry buys a controlling stake in World Duty Free from the Benetton family, creating the world's largest travel retailer.
  • BBC Business News: EU exit economic self harm - Clegg
    Leaving the European Union would be an act of economic "self harm" and could risk the UK recovery, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg says.

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