Top Stories

November 23, 2022


EU approves law to break 'glass ceiling' for women on company boards

Women must make up at least 40% of non-executive board members at large companies in the European Union from mid-2026 under a new law. The 'Women on Boards' law was given the green light by the European Parliament after it was first proposed a decade ago and also requires that at least a third of all company directors are women. Where two candidates for a post are equally qualified, priority must go to the under-represented sex, the rules say. Penalties for non-compliance can be a fine or annulment of the contested director's appointment. EU states have already approved the new law. Companies with fewer than 250 staff will be exempt. The EU said action was necessary as women account for fewer than one in 10 board chairs and chief executive positions. (Reuters)


UN to vote on new tax convention proposed by African states

Developing nations are hoping to secure greater power over global tax affairs at a critical United Nations (UN) vote in New York. If the body’s members vote in favour of a resolution put forward by the African Group of states, it could pave the way toward fresh intergovernmental talks on global tax policy. The draft resolution calls on members to decide to pay the groundwork for a new UN convention on tax. This could shift clout from bodies traditionally dominated by rich countries, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, towards the UN, where developing nations have a greater say. The resolution would give the UN the mandate to “monitor, evaluate and decide global tax rules”, according to campaign group Tax Justice Network. (The Guardian)


UK Government launches £1.5m carbon-cutting AI programme

The UK government has launched a new green artificial intelligence innovation programme and is inviting applicants to apply for funding for projects that can help emission reductions across the UK. Dubbed the ‘AI for Decarbonisation Programme’ and backed with £1.5 million in funding, the new initiative from The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) forms part of the government's £1 billion ‘Net Zero Innovation Portfolio’ and comprises two separate streams of grant funding which will be launched in two initial stages. Stream 1, containing £500,000, will be made available to co-fund a virtual centre of excellence for AI innovation and decarbonisation through to 2025. Stream 2, comprised of £1 million, will fund a range of innovation projects that advance the development of AI technologies that support decarbonisation. (Business Green)*


FCA warns trading firms apps over dangerous ‘gamification’

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned trading apps over so-called gamification of betting on the financial markets. The warning comes amid fears retail investors are being incentivised to make bets against their own interest. The FCA warned trading app operators to review design features including sending “frequent notifications with the latest market news” and providing investors with “in-app points, badges and celebratory messages”. The FCA added that it had found gamification to be used in a way that may “mislead consumers or lead to poor outcomes and problem behaviours”, claiming the features were encouraging gambling-like investor practices. The Authority concluded that firms should ensure they are supporting customers, particularly “those in vulnerable circumstances or those showing signs of problem gambling behaviour”. (City AM)


Severely ill refusing sicknotes, cannot afford time off, GPs say

Unwell patients are refusing sicknotes from their GP because they cannot afford time off work, according to the Royal College of GPs. More patients are experiencing asthma attacks or other serious breathing problems because they cannot afford to heat their homes, while many have reported deteriorating mental health due to financial stress. Soaring food costs are also leading to a rise in fatigue, mouth ulcers and weak muscles, with people deficient in key vitamins because they cannot afford to eat anything other than a poor diet. The College added that so many patients are presenting with complex physical and psychological problems related to poverty, domestic violence, childhood abuse or poor housing that GPs are suffering psychologically from their inability to take the requisite action. (The Guardian)

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