Top Stories

October 05, 2016


UK firms could be made to publish foreign workers list in bid to ‘put Britons first’

British firms could be made to publish a list of foreign workers under new Government plans to name and shame companies who do not hire British staff. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said firms will have to be “be clear about the proportion of their workforce which is international”. She added: “The test should ensure people coming here are filling gaps in the labour market, not taking jobs British people could do.”

The proposals were met with outrage from business groups and MPs. Seamus Nevin, head of employment and skills policy at the Institute of Directors, said: “Businesses know that the EU referendum result means change to free movement of workers from the EU, but people were not voting to make the economy weaker.” Ms Rudd’s announcement came as the International Monetary Fund slashed its economic growth forecast for Britain, and the pound fell to a 31-year low against the US dollar. (Daily Express; Independent)

Corporate Reputation

Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for US intelligence

Yahoo last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by US intelligence officials, according to a Reuters investigation. The company scanned hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI. Former government officials and private surveillance experts said they had not previously seen such a broad demand for real-time Web collection. Google and Microsoft separately said they had not conducted such email searches. “We’ve never received such a request, but if we did, our response would be simple: ‘No way’,” a spokesperson for Google said. Experts said Yahoo could have tried to fight last year’s demand, on a similar basis to Apple’s refusal earlier this year to create a special program to break into an encrypted iPhone. (Reuters)


Ernst & Young settles charges ex-auditors got ‘too close’ to clients

Accounting firm Ernst & Young will pay $9.3 million to settle charges that two of its former auditors got “too close to clients on a personal level” and broke rules aimed at ensuring reviews were impartial, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said. The SEC said in both situations, Ernst & Young ignored red flags that signalled their partners’ inappropriate conduct. “The individuals at the centre of these matters violated multiple EY policies, hid their conduct and behaved in a way that was antithetical to EY’s Global Code of Conduct, culture, values, policies, and training,” an Ernst & Young spokesperson said. (Reuters)


Indonesia hails tax amnesty a success but special treatment for super rich stirs public anger

Indonesia has hailed a tax amnesty as a major success after it raised more than US$7 billion in its first few months. Authorities began the policy with much fanfare in July, asking Indonesians to declare their hidden wealth in exchange for paying penalties far below regular tax rates. The government hopes the initiative will lure back tens of billions of dollars stashed abroad, particularly in neighbouring Singapore, and get more people to pay tax in a country where only about 10 per cent are registered taxpayers. But among the small number of Indonesians who have regularly paid their taxes, there is disappointment at the treatment being given to the super-rich simply for paying up at a rate below normal. Activists have challenged the amnesty in the Constitutional Court while the anger spilled out on to the streets last week. (South China Morning Post)


Report: One-third of US companies combine EHS with sustainability at the corporate level

According to a new report by the National Association for Environmental Management (NAEM), based on a survey of 193 US companies from across industry sectors, 59 percent are managing Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) as a combined function at the corporate level. 32 percent now have a function that combines EHS with sustainability. “Stand-alone sustainability” functions are also common at the corporate level, with 28 percent of responding companies assigning activities such as goal-setting, carbon disclosure and lifecycle analysis to a dedicated department. (3BL Media)


Image source: Yahoo pressebilder by Yahoo USA / CC BY-ND 2.0