Top Stories

January 03, 2017

Innovation & Technology

The National Lottery operator takes proactive approach to player safety

Camelot, the operator of the UK’s National Lottery, is using innovative data-tracking software to identify online problem play. Camelot has teamed up with Cambridge-based Featurespace to create a pilot programme that allows it to monitor individual players, flagging up potential problem behaviours and allowing it to intervene early. Camelot is working on permanently embedding behavioural analytics, categorising players as safe (“green” players); those displaying one or two problem behaviours (“amber” players); and those showing signs of problems (“red” players). “At Camelot, our strategy is all about lots of people playing a little, not a few people playing a lot… The great news is that only 0.5% of our instant win game customers came up as “red” players,” said Alison Gardner, head of corporate responsibility at Camelot. (Ethical Performance)

Corporate Reputation

Tesco cuts price of women’s razors so they cost the same as men’s

Tesco has reduced the price of women’s standard razors to match that of men’s in the latest victory in the battle to eliminate gender discrimination in high street products.  A newspaper investigation at the start of last year showed that women were paying an average of 37% more for gender-targeted items. Razors were found to be among the more marked-up products. Tesco’s commercial director for packaged products, Kari Daniels, said the disparity in price was not the result of gender bias: “the difference is driven by the fact that male razors are produced and sold in significantly higher volumes, which reduces the price we pay for them.” “However, we have acted on concerns about the difference in price of our female and male disposable twin-blade razors, in line with our commitment to ensure consistently low, simple and affordable pricing and have aligned the prices of these products”.  (The Guardian)


UnitedHealthcare, Qualcomm Life, Fitbit aim to expand corporate wellness

Key wearable device and health care players Qualcomm, UnitedHealthcare and Fitbit are aiming to step up their corporate wellness game in a bid to offer financial incentives to get employees moving. Qualcomm, via its Qualcomm Life unit, and UnitedHealthcare at CES 2017 will outline plans to enable to bring your own wearable approach to corporate wellness plans. Qualcomm and UnitedHealthcare said they will expand UnitedHealthcare Motion, a wellness program that offers financial incentives to employees up to $1,500 a year, making it available in 40 US states. Consolidation in the market means that the corporate wellness game is likely to include the likes of Apple and Fitbit with other giants such as Google, Microsoft and Nokia in future. Fitbit CEO James Park said the customer integration of its Charge 2 tracker with UnitedHealthcare and Qualcomm Life is a first for its company. (ZDNet)


Tax evasion enablers to be hit with new fines

Bankers, lawyers, accountants and advisers who assist with tax evasion will be hit with new fines, as the government seeks to crack down on the behaviour. The changes were announced as part of the then Chancellor George Osborne’s 2015 Budget, and come into force on January 1st 2017. Those at fault will face fines of up to 100 per cent of the total they helped evade, or £3,000, whichever is highest. The taxman will also be able to name and shame guilty parties who enable tax evasion or help move money offshore. It’ll mean that HMRC can, for the first time, charge civil penalties on the facilitators of the tax evasion; those providing planning, advice or other professional services, or actually move funds offshore. This year, there’ll also be the creation of a new criminal offence for companies which fail to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. Financial secretary to the Treasury, Jane Ellison, said: “Tax evasion is a crime and as a government we have led reform of the international tax system to root it out.” (City A.M.)


French workers get ‘right to disconnect’ from emails out of hours

France employees are getting the legal right to avoid work emails outside working hours. This came into force on 1st January 2017. Companies with more than 50 workers will be obliged to draw up a charter of good conduct, setting out the hours when staff are not supposed to send or answer emails. Supporters of the new law say that employees who are expected to check and reply to their work emails out of hours are not being paid fairly for their overtime, and that the practice carries a risk of stress, burnout, sleep problems and relationship difficulties. Some private companies have previously tried to put limits on their employees’ use of work email outside working hours. For instance, in 2014, the German vehicle-maker Daimler set up an optional service for workers going on holiday; instead of sending an out-of-office reply, they could opt to have all new emails automatically deleted while they were away. (BBC)

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