Daily Media Briefing

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Climate Change, Daily Media Briefing, Diversity, Employees, Supply Chain

Top Stories

March 09, 2018

Gender Pay Gap

France to fine companies if gender pay gaps not erased

French companies will have three years to erase their gender pay gaps or face possible fines under plans presented by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to unions and employers. Men are on average paid nine percent more than women in France, even though the law has required equal pay for the same work for the past 45 years, the government said. Under the plans, companies with more than 50 employees will be required to install special software hooked up directly to their payroll systems to monitor unjustified pay gaps. If a company fails to erase a pay gap detected by the software over three years, labour inspectors could impose a fine of up to one percent of the firm’s wage bill. Companies will also have to be more transparent about their gender pay gaps: they will be required to publish them on their websites and internally unions will have access to data by job role and seniority. (Thomson Reuters Foundation)

Supply Chain

Apple suppliers fell short of company overtime rules in 2017

More employees of Apple’s manufacturing suppliers broke the company’s rules on working hours and overtime last year, as it raced to overcome production delays and meet initial demand for the new iPhone X. Compliance with Apple’s working hours policy fell from 98 percent in 2016 to 94 percent in 2017, according to the company’s annual Supplier Responsibility report. The tech giant found 44 serious breaches of its compliance rules in 2017, including dozens of instances of bonded labour and falsifying working hours as well as two cases of underage workers, according to the report. During 2017 three Apple suppliers had foreign contract workers who had been charged recruitment fees – a form of bonded labour described by UN agencies as modern-day slavery. “In one case, over 700 foreign contract workers were recruited from the Philippines to work for a supplier through a private employment agency,” the company said. The company said it returned $1.9 million in “excessive recruitment fees” to more than 1,500 employees last year. (Financial Times*)

Co-op investigated over its treatment of suppliers

The Co-op is facing an investigation by the grocery industry watchdog into the treatment of suppliers by its supermarket chain, which could lead to a multimillion-pound fine. The second formal investigation to date by the Groceries Code Adjudicator will be the first in which penalties of up to 1% of turnover can be levied with the adjudicator having “reasonable suspicion” the Co-op had breached a legally binding industry code of practice designed to ensure suppliers are treated fairly. In a statement, the Co-op apologised and said it had repaid £500,000 to 110 suppliers in relation to quality control and “benchmarking charges” and was retraining staff to ensure they comply with the code of practice. The Co-op’s food business has a turnover of more than £7 billion, which means the group could potentially face a fine of more than £70m, although the adjudicator has said she prefers to push for change in industry practice rather than levy penalties. (Guardian)


UK government names Wagamama & Marriott Hotels among companies failing to pay legal minimum wage

Wagamama, TGI Fridays, Marriott Hotels and Karen Millen are among the companies named and shamed by the UK government for failing to pay the legal minimum wage. The latest list, published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, names 179 employers for failing to pay 9,200 workers £1.1 million collectively. The employers had to compensate workers and pay a further £1.3 million in fines to the government. Marriott Hotels was the second-worst offender on the government list, having to repay £71,723 to 279 workers. It said some hotels had deducted charges for live-in accommodation or late-night taxis from wages, taking their pay below the minimum wage. The business minister, Andrew Griffiths, said: “There are no excuses for short-changing workers. This is an absolute red line for this government, and employers who cross it will get caught – not only are they forced to pay back every penny but they are also fined up to 200% of wages owed.” (Guardian)

Climate Change

Air New Zealand sheds light on climate change in new safety video

Air New Zealand has partnered with Antarctica New Zealand and the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute to create a new safety video that showcases the Antarctica and highlights the important climate and environmental science taking place there. In addition to the video, which was filmed with a crew of six to minimize the environmental impact of filming, the airline has also released television and online content that allow viewers to take a more in-depth look at Antarctica and the work being done there. According to Peter Beggs, CEO of Antarctica New Zealand, the safety video project offers a brilliant way for to raise awareness of Antarctica and research taking place there. “Air New Zealand’s safety videos have collectively attracted more than 130 million online views. Our teams are thrilled to have such a significant global platform to amplify their work and we’re confident it will take our outreach efforts to the next level,” Beggs said. (Sustainable Brands)


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Image Source: New Zealand from the Air by lensmate on Flickr. CC BY-ND 2.0.