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North East firms among those ‘named and shamed’ for not paying the minimum wage

Nine North East firms are among a long list of companies which have been ‘named and shamed’ for failing to pay their staff the National Minimum and Living Wage.

The businesses are on the latest list published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, highlighting 260 UK businesses who have been ordered to hand over £1.7m in back pay to staff members – on top of fines totalling £1.9m.

Retail, hairdressing and hospitality businesses were among the most prolific offenders with common reasons for errors made include failing to pay workers travelling between jobs, deducting money from pay for uniforms and not paying for overtime.

The list, which is published twice a year, includes retail giants Primark and Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley’s business Sports Direct.

Primark Stores Limited, headquartered in Reading failed to pay 9,735 of its workers £231,973.12, while Sports Direct is named and shamed for not paying 383 workers a collective £167,036.24.

Margot James, Minister for Small Business
Margot James, Minister for Small Business

Business Minister Margot James said: “There is no excuse for not paying staff the wages they’re entitled to and the government will come down hard on businesses that break the rules.”

The North East businesses listed are:

+ Ramside Estates Limited, County Durham DH1, failed to pay £17,536.59 to 8 workers.

+ Headlam Leisure Limited trading as Headlam Hall Hotel, County Durham DL2, failed to pay £9,157.42 to 8 workers.

+ Sabai Hairdressing Ltd., Newcastle upon Tyne NE1, failed to pay £8,144.38 to 6 workers.

+ Cuba Lily (North East) Limited, County Durham DH1, failed to pay £7,917.09 to 26 workers.

+ Cornhill Carriage Company, Northumberland TD12, failed to pay £4,974.26 to 1 worker.

+ Hughes & Daughters Care Ltd trading as Blue Ribbon Community Care Tyne and Wear, Sunderland SR2, failed to pay £2,789.06 to 22 workers.

+ Mrs Andrea McKie trading as Angels Assisted Living Services, Northumberland NE42, failed to pay £772.45 to 1 worker.

+ Inspired Care Limited, Newcastle upon Tyne NE15, failed to pay £220.00 to 1 worker.

+ TAAE Management Ltd trading as Bluebird Care Sunderland, Sunderland SR1, failed to pay £131.42 to 1 worker.

All the North East firms listed were contacted for comment.

Ramside Estates and Headlam Leisure Limited both said they felt their sector is being particularly targeted.

Ramside Estates:

A spokesman for Ramside Estates said: “Ramside Estates has been in business for 54 years and is one of the longest standing hospitality businesses in the North East.

“We have always paid our staff the minimum wage and above and unfortunately this particular situation arose because of an issue with the clocking in machine, where chefs who were on split shifts – with a four hour break in the middle of the day – appeared as if they were working through for 12 hours.

“Because of that it seemed as if their hourly rate was below the minimum wage, which in reality was not the case. We pointed this out to the inspectors but they did not accept our explanation.

“To ensure this situation does not arise again, our contracts of employment now allow people who work more than a 48 hour week to be reimbursed, although this is challenging for the hospitality industry where long hours have always been the norm.

“It does seem that the hospitality industry is being particularly targeted and that we are being made a scapegoat in this instance.”

Headlam Hall:

David Jackson, operations director at Headlam Hall, said: “In response to the recent fine imposed on Headlam Hall by HMRC’s Inspector for a limited “breach” of EU minimum wage regulations in the case of a number of French students, we are, of course, sorry to have broken the letter of the law. However, we feel very aggrieved, and are very disappointed with HMRC about this ruling and the fine imposed, given that this so-called breach only related to a group of French hospitality students who were on placement at Headlam Hall for three months at a time to improve their skills and language, and explicitly did not expect to be paid other than “board and lodging”.

“Our arrangement with the College in Limoges was based on the director saying that the students were not to be paid, and did not expect to be paid, for this placement work, other than our provision of “board and lodging” for them.

“A further irony is that it seems that if they had been British students from a British college, this would not have been a breach of the law in any way! It is clear on the HMRC website that “a student doing work experience as part of a higher or further education course” will not receive the National Minimum Wage”.

“We have a policy of paying all our employees here at Headlam above the minimum wage. We also have a strong history of UK and overseas students learning and honing their professional hospitality skills here. As one of the area’s main employers for over 30 years, it is a shame that over £15,000 (the level of the fine) which could have been spent on re-investment at the hotel or job creation for local residents, has disappeared on a legal nicety to do with European workers”.

“We fully understand our obligations to our staff and the wider community, and, as a good employer, continue to comply fully with legislation in areas of food hygiene, health and safety, and other major areas of hotel operations. With the hotel having been awarded four stars from the AA and a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, and also being rated Taste Durham Highest Quality Assured and Local Champion by our regional tourist board, Visit County Durham, we are pleased to continue to contribute positively to the local community and the wider north east economy”.

Cuba Lily (North East) Ltd:

Michael Lewis, managing director of jewellery business Cuba Lily (North East) Ltd, said: “We have been caught out with a technicality of how staff purchases have been processed. I feel strongly aggrieved by HMRC who conveniently received a hefty fine from my company. Cuba Lily should not be registered on this list of companies.”

Inspired Care:

Tracy Notley, director at Inspired Care, said: “This was a one-off administrative error. We pay above the minimum wage across the company.”

Thomas Chacko, owner of Bluebird Care, said that he disagreed with HMRC’s decision and that the dispute related to money he had deducted from a former member of staff’s pay for training received at the company.

Mr Chacko said: “The reason why was that staff member received all of their development and training and investment, and then deceided to leave the business without notice and without returning company property. Leaving us in the lurch. I said I was allowed to deduct a small amount of money because of that.”

“We continue to support our customers and staff and we continue to invest in them.”

Blue Ribbon Community Care:

A spokesman for Blue Ribbon Community Care said: “Our rate of pay has always been in excess of national minimum wage.

“This issue with HMRC arose due to deductions for training costs from those with whom we parted company within 12 months of their employment.

“Deductions were therefore made from leavers for the cost of some of the training they had received.

“The third party payroll provider had advised that this was both legal and appropriate. All new staff were made aware of and agreed to these deductions. However, HMRC ruled that these charges were not allowed. As soon as they advised us of this, the required reimbursements were made to those affected.

Newcastle hair salon Sabai Hairdressing declined to comment, as did Cornhill Carriage Company and Angels Assisted Living Services did not return our calls.

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Under-fire CM looks to German firms for clean water

Under-fire CM looks to German firms for clean water
A day after coming under fire in the Supreme Court over the supply of contaminated water in Sindh, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said on Thursday his government was very keen to provide clean water to the people of his province and this was the area where German companies could play an important role.
He addressing a German-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GPCCI) programme at German Consulate. A day earlier, hearing a petition for the provision of clean drinking water and a safe environment to the people of Sindh, a three-member Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, had observed that powers were given to the executive for serving the people and the court was willing to support the provincial government for redressing the grievances of the people.
It had asked Chief Minister Shah to give the time-frame for resolving the issues of providing clean potable water and disposal of sewage. A video on visits by a judicial commission looking into these issues to different water supply and drain sites was screened in the presence of the chief minister in the court. The video showed how untreated raw municipal and industrial sewage was polluting water bodies and how dangerous hospital waste was being disposed of. After watching the video, the chief justice said that he was speechless and observed that Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto should also see the plight of his party voters in Larkana.
During his address on Thursday, the chief minister thought it was a good move that Germany and Pakistan had agreed and established the GPCCI with its headquarters in Karachi and branches in Punjab and Islamabad.
He said he was happy to know that the GPCCI working with the Sindh law department to address issues related to women, children and minorities with their focus on various projects. “They are focusing on the implementation of various chapters under G-plus protocol to support the exports of textiles to European Union.”
The chief minister said Germany was the first country where the first-ever bilateral investment treaty was signed in 1952 and further improved in 1956 and the last one in the most improved form was signed two years back.
“This bilateral investment treaty deals with various social and economic sectors, particularly for the investment security and risk coverage. “I think the GPCCI and the Sindh government should work together to create more awareness about the benefit of this treaty.”
Shah stated that his government was paying full attention to foreign investors in Sindh, which was rich in minerals resources and with highly skilled educated work force. “We have vast coastal areas, green fields and hardworking farmers and this is the most suitable combination for foreign investors, particularly for German companies, to work together here.”
Shah said he was pleased to learn that the GPCCI had established expert industrial groups where experts could help local business groups and the common man could benefit from German expertise. He invited the expert groups to extend their activities to other districts of the province.
The chief minister said the provincial government had facilitated German companies at all levels and would continue to extend its full corporation to German investors. The German industrial zone in Karachi was a good idea and the demand of the GPCC would be objectively considered to facilitate German investment in Sindh, he added.
Earlier, the chief minister was received by Rainer Schmiedchen, consul general of Germany in Karachi, and Qazi Sajid Ali, president of the GPCCI, when he reached the consulate. German Ambassador in Pakistan Qazi Sajid, and the GPCCI president also spoke.

Under-fire CM looks to German firms for clean water

A day after coming under fire in the Supreme Court over the supply of contaminated water in Sindh, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said on Thursday his government was very keen to provide clean water to the people of his province and this was the area where German companies could play an important role.
He addressing a German-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GPCCI) programme at German Consulate. A day earlier, hearing a petition for the provision of clean drinking water and a safe environment to the people of Sindh, a three-member Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, had observed that powers were given to the executive for serving the people and the court was willing to support the provincial government for redressing the grievances of the people.
It had asked Chief Minister Shah to give the time-frame for resolving the issues of providing clean potable water and disposal of sewage. A video on visits by a judicial commission looking into these issues to different water supply and drain sites was screened in the presence of the chief minister in the court. The video showed how untreated raw municipal and industrial sewage was polluting water bodies and how dangerous hospital waste was being disposed of. After watching the video, the chief justice said that he was speechless and observed that Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto should also see the plight of his party voters in Larkana.
During his address on Thursday, the chief minister thought it was a good move that Germany and Pakistan had agreed and established the GPCCI with its headquarters in Karachi and branches in Punjab and Islamabad.
He said he was happy to know that the GPCCI working with the Sindh law department to address issues related to women, children and minorities with their focus on various projects. “They are focusing on the implementation of various chapters under G-plus protocol to support the exports of textiles to European Union.”
The chief minister said Germany was the first country where the first-ever bilateral investment treaty was signed in 1952 and further improved in 1956 and the last one in the most improved form was signed two years back.
“This bilateral investment treaty deals with various social and economic sectors, particularly for the investment security and risk coverage. “I think the GPCCI and the Sindh government should work together to create more awareness about the benefit of this treaty.”
Shah stated that his government was paying full attention to foreign investors in Sindh, which was rich in minerals resources and with highly skilled educated work force. “We have vast coastal areas, green fields and hardworking farmers and this is the most suitable combination for foreign investors, particularly for German companies, to work together here.”
Shah said he was pleased to learn that the GPCCI had established expert industrial groups where experts could help local business groups and the common man could benefit from German expertise. He invited the expert groups to extend their activities to other districts of the province.
The chief minister said the provincial government had facilitated German companies at all levels and would continue to extend its full corporation to German investors. The German industrial zone in Karachi was a good idea and the demand of the GPCC would be objectively considered to facilitate German investment in Sindh, he added.
Earlier, the chief minister was received by Rainer Schmiedchen, consul general of Germany in Karachi, and Qazi Sajid Ali, president of the GPCCI, when he reached the consulate. German Ambassador in Pakistan Qazi Sajid, and the GPCCI president also spoke.

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Internet betting firms settle suits over NYX Gaming acquisition

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Three gambling companies have agreed to end their legal battle over the proposed acquisition of NYX Gaming by Scientific Games.

The Las Vegas-based firms hope to join forces and become a leader in the as-yet unapproved U.S. sports betting market.

But William Hill, a rival based in London, had threatened to derail the deal by using stock it owns in NYX.

On Thursday, the companies said they will end their complicated international litigation, adding that William Hill will now support the deal.

The companies anticipate the Supreme Court will legalize sports betting, creating a huge new market in the U.S. The case was heard on Monday, but a decision may take until June.

“We are pleased to expand our commercial relationship with Scientific Games in the U.S. market, which offers considerable potential should the Supreme Court ruling … which is expected next year, provide states with the power to regulate sports betting,” said William Hill CEO Philip Bowcock.

William Hill had threatened to use the stock it owns in NYX to vote against the acquisition unless it received assurances about what the newly combined company could and could not do.

But the deal calls for Scientific Games to buy William Hill’s stock. The two firms also announced they have entered “a new commercial arrangement” but did not spell out details of it.

New Jersey is taking aim at a 1992 law that forbids state-authorized sports gambling in all but four states that met a 1991 deadline to legalize it: Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon. Nevada is the only state to allow single-game wagering.

In an October report, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming LLC, which tracks state-by-state gambling legislation, predicted legal sports betting could be offered in 32 states within five years if the Supreme Court rules in favor of New Jersey.

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Named and shamed: Primark, Sports Direct and North Wales firms who failed to pay minimum wage

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has named 260 employers for failing to pay 16,000 workers at least minimum wage rates.

Government investigators identified £1.7 million in back pay for some of the UK’s lowest paid workers and fined employers £1.3 million for underpayment.

They include retail giants like Sports Direct and Primark and a number of North Wales businesses.

Primark store at Broughton Shopping Park
Primark store at Broughton Shopping Park

Common reasons for errors made include: failing to pay workers travelling between jobs, deducting money from pay for uniforms and not paying for overtime.

Primark was listed as the third-biggest offender after it deducted shop worker’s uniforms from their salaries. It has now repaid staff.

Business Minister Margot James said: “There is no excuse for not paying staff the wages they’re entitled to and the government will come down hard on businesses that break the rules.

“That’s why today we are naming hundreds of employers who have been short changing their workers; and to ensure there are consequences for their wallets as well as their reputation, we’ve levied millions in back pay and fines.”

Bryan Sanderson, Chairman of the Low Pay Commission, said: “The Low Pay Commission’s conversations with employers suggest that the risk of being named is encouraging businesses to focus on compliance.

“Further, it is good to see that HMRC continues to target large employers who have underpaid a large number of workers, as well as cases involving only a few workers, where workers are at risk of the most serious exploitation. It is imperative that the government keeps up the pressure on all employers who commit breaches of minimum wage law.”

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “These figures show it pays to be a member of Unite and underlines the importance of campaigning trade unions who tackle abusive employers.”

The firms named by the Government include:

■ Primark Stores Limited, Reading RG1, failed to pay £231,973.12 to 9735 workers.

■ SportsDirect.com Retail Limited, Bolsover NG20, failed to pay £167,036.24 to 383 workers.

■ Mr Martin Brindley Station Cars, Wrexham LL11, failed to pay £5,303.74 to 1 worker.

■ Rothwell & Robertson Limited trading as Ye Olde Bull’s Head Inn, Isle of Anglesey LL58, failed to pay £627.53 to 1 worker.

■ Men At Work (Wales) Limited, Conwy LL31, failed to pay £310.8 to 1 worker.

■ Vale Holiday Parks Limited, Ceredigion SY23, failed to pay £213.38 to 2 workers.

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Primark, Sports Direct and North Wales firms who failed to pay minimum wage

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has named 260 employers for failing to pay 16,000 workers at least minimum wage rates.

Government investigators identified £1.7 million in back pay for some of the UK’s lowest paid workers and fined employers £1.3 million for underpayment.

They include retail giants like Sports Direct and Primark and a number of North Wales businesses.

Primark store at Broughton Shopping Park
Primark store at Broughton Shopping Park

Common reasons for errors made include: failing to pay workers travelling between jobs, deducting money from pay for uniforms and not paying for overtime.

Primark was listed as the third-biggest offender after it deducted shop worker’s uniforms from their salaries. It has now repaid staff.

Business Minister Margot James said: “There is no excuse for not paying staff the wages they’re entitled to and the government will come down hard on businesses that break the rules.

“That’s why today we are naming hundreds of employers who have been short changing their workers; and to ensure there are consequences for their wallets as well as their reputation, we’ve levied millions in back pay and fines.”

Bryan Sanderson, Chairman of the Low Pay Commission, said: “The Low Pay Commission’s conversations with employers suggest that the risk of being named is encouraging businesses to focus on compliance.

“Further, it is good to see that HMRC continues to target large employers who have underpaid a large number of workers, as well as cases involving only a few workers, where workers are at risk of the most serious exploitation. It is imperative that the government keeps up the pressure on all employers who commit breaches of minimum wage law.”

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “These figures show it pays to be a member of Unite and underlines the importance of campaigning trade unions who tackle abusive employers.”

The firms named by the Government include:

■ Primark Stores Limited, Reading RG1, failed to pay £231,973.12 to 9735 workers.

■ SportsDirect.com Retail Limited, Bolsover NG20, failed to pay £167,036.24 to 383 workers.

■ Mr Martin Brindley Station Cars, Wrexham LL11, failed to pay £5,303.74 to 1 worker.

■ Rothwell & Robertson Limited trading as Ye Olde Bull’s Head Inn, Isle of Anglesey LL58, failed to pay £627.53 to 1 worker.

■ Men At Work (Wales) Limited, Conwy LL31, failed to pay £310.8 to 1 worker.

■ Vale Holiday Parks Limited, Ceredigion SY23, failed to pay £213.38 to 2 workers.

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Sebi to ask listed firms to record minute financial details

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is planning to ask listed entities to start using information utilities, set up under the insolvency law, to record minute financial details.

Experts say that this will ensure transparency as the existing declaration mechanism is mandatory only to a certain extent. A former Sebi official said: “This will ensure more transparency in letting out details of companies and better access to all stakeholders as all details will be dematerialised.” This would also help banks maintain dematerialised records, which are safer, he added.

An e-mail sent to Sebi on the issue remained unanswered.

Information utilities are being set up to eliminate disputes related to debts and assets of companies that have been taken to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. Information utilities are a database in which financial information which is verified is available to facilitate due diligence before any transaction under the insolvency process.

There is one information utility, NeSL, now. State Bank of India, Canara Bank, and Bank of Baroda have a 10 per cent stake each, while ICICI Bank and Axis Bank hold 9.9 per cent and 9.5 per cent, respectively. Life Insurance Corporation and Karnataka Bank own 6 per cent each in the information utility.

Others among the 17 shareholders include HDFC, Punjab National Bank, Union Bank of India, Axis Bank, and Nabard. Meanwhile, Sebi is planning to get credit rating agencies to identify default. The regulator has met banks, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and rating agencies to finalise the disclosure framework. Since rating agencies are expected to keep a close watch on company financials and are capable of conducting qualitative analysis of companies, Sebi wants their involvement in the matter.   

Besides, the market regulator is planning to give up to a month to companies for disclosing loan defaults and explain their nature. Under the revised directives, Sebi may increase the “delta D” or date of default to 30 days and may give additional time to companies to make disclosures.

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Power firms will face fines for outages and disruptions

  • Minister R K Singh said most of the states have agreed on 24/7 power for all
  • Singh was speaking at the Ministers for Power and New & Renewable Energy of States & Union Territories conference in Delhi on Thursday
  • As many as 17 states including Uttar Pradesh, Manipur and Odisha deliberated on a host of issues 
  • ‘The consumers should not be asked to pay for theft committed by others,’ he added
  •  See more news from India at www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome

Mail Today Bureau

and
Joe Gamp For Mailonline

Power Minister R K Singh on Thursday said most of the states have agreed on 24/7 power for all by March 2019 after which a fine will be levied on power companies for any disruptions in the supply of electricity. 

`Our vision is that we want 24/7 power for all by March 2019. Now it will be a legal obligation. 

‘After March 2019, if there is any load shedding without any reason, there will be penalties except in case of technical issues or act of God,’ Singh told journalists. 

He was addressing a media conference after a meeting of Ministers for Power and New & Renewable Energy of States & Union Territories.

The minster said all the participant states have agreed to provide 24/7 power to all. He further said there would be 100 per cent metering (of electricity supply) and 90 per cent of this would be pre-paid meters. 

Power Minister R K Singh is introducing a fine for power companies who disrupt services after March 2019 as India's states prepare to make it mandatory to supply 24/7 electricity to all. 'After March 2019, if there is any load shedding without any reason, there will be penalties except in case of technical issues or act of God.'

Power Minister R K Singh is introducing a fine for power companies who disrupt services after March 2019 as India's states prepare to make it mandatory to supply 24/7 electricity to all. 'After March 2019, if there is any load shedding without any reason, there will be penalties except in case of technical issues or act of God.'

Power Minister R K Singh is introducing a fine for power companies who disrupt services after March 2019 as India’s states prepare to make it mandatory to supply 24/7 electricity to all. ‘After March 2019, if there is any load shedding without any reason, there will be penalties except in case of technical issues or act of God.’

‘We are doing away with the human interface totally in metering, billing and collection. The payment for electricity consumption will be through mobile phone. All states have agreed on this,’ he said. 

Asked about the deadline for achieving the goal of 90 per cent pre-paid meters in the country, the minister said there is no deadline. 

But we have to reduce losses by January 2019 to ensure 24/7 power for all by March 2019. It is agreed that the (distribution) losses would be reduced to below 15 per cent by  January 2019, he said.

Singh said another issue that discussed was cross-subsidisation, as some states have 19 different strands of energy tariff.

The power tariff will be remodeled according to the report presented by an expert committee today. He explained that the cross subsidy would not be more than 20 per cent (the difference between highest and lowest tariff). 

Tariff policy provides that cross subsidy would be brought down to 20 per cent in the first phase. It will help in reduction of tariff for a section of consumers. 

About the direct benefit transfer for consumers he said: ‘Any subsidy you want to give to any category of consumers, it has to go through DBT. That would be the law. All states agree on that.’

The minister also made it clear to states that any tariff decided  after the bid has to be adopted and power purchase agreements have to obeyed because that is the law. 

As many as 17 states including Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Odisha, among others and 1 UT attended the conference and deliberated on a host of issues including 24/7 power to all. 

On the subject of the Saubhagya scheme, he said: ‘We would provide electricity connection to 4 crore families by December 2018. We are running a public awareness campaign to tell people that they are not required to go anywhere and pay a single rupee for getting electricity connection. 

'As many as 2,100 villages are still to be electrified including 1,100 in Arunachal Pradesh. Some of these are affected due to rain and snow. Thus, the electrification of these villages would be completed by February or March,' he said of the deadline extension. 

'As many as 2,100 villages are still to be electrified including 1,100 in Arunachal Pradesh. Some of these are affected due to rain and snow. Thus, the electrification of these villages would be completed by February or March,' he said of the deadline extension. 

‘As many as 2,100 villages are still to be electrified including 1,100 in Arunachal Pradesh. Some of these are affected due to rain and snow. Thus, the electrification of these villages would be completed by February or March,’ he said of the deadline extension. 

‘We would organise camps to do that. He also said after March 2019, the loss will be capped at 15 per cent for fixation of tariff. If there are losses of more than 15 per cent, you cannot set that (additional amount over the cap) off by (higher) tariff. 

‘The consumers should not be asked to pay for theft committed by others,’ he added. 

On the availability of power in Gujarat for farmers, he highlighted the fact that power is very much available for farmers in the state.

‘We have agreed that states will set up their own roadmap for separation of carriage and content in power sector,’ he said.

Singh said that the move will help consumers choose their service providers in power sector on the lines of telecom services.

‘As many as 2,100 villages are still to be electrified including 1,100 in Arunachal Pradesh. Some of these are affected due to rain and snow. Thus, the electrification of these villages would be completed by February or March,’ he pointed out.

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Mexico passes bill to regulate cryptocurrencies and fintech firms

Reuters reports that lawmakers approved the bill in principle today, enabling it to advance to a vote in the Mexican Senate’s lower house. Sources told Reuters that it’s expected to be voted into law on December 15 as an overarching legislation to enable the regulation of fintech providers.

Secondary laws will then be introduced to set out the precise details of the regulations. Exactly what will be covered remains to be decided, with the initial measure designed to provide a base from which to start building fintech laws.

Fintech interest

Assuming the bills get passed, Mexico will join a short list of countries – including the U.S. and U.K. – that have moved towards the regulation of fintech providers.

The industry’s off to a flying start in Mexico. Providers are approaching the country and its neighbours as ideal testing grounds for their services. Around 50 percent of the country’s population of 120 million does not have a bank account. This makes the citizens prime customers of new online-only financial products that can be managed and accessed through a smartphone.

READ NEXT:Fintech firms choose Lithuania after Brexit

With fintech providers flocking to the country, Mexico’s government is concerned about the wider financial implications. As fintech’s still largely unproven, a lot of unknowns remain around the startups and their products.

There are fears that widespread fintech use could destabilise the economy by making it difficult for central banks to retain control. Cryptocurrencies could also mask money laundering schemes and other criminal operations.

Opening up to outsiders

The decision to regulate fintech has been received positively by industry members operating in Mexico. Felipe Vallejo, director of public and regulatory policy at the cryptocurrency exchange Bitso, told Reuters it helps Mexico align with other countries. Vallejo described the news as a “victory for the sector,” noting it could make Mexico more attractive to outside fintech investors.

There’s no firm indications yet of what the bill will target or how regulation will be enforced. It’s said to focus on improving transparency and lowering transaction costs, helping to improve competition in the industry. This will develop fintech in Mexico and allow it to evolve into a stable financial ecosystem.

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Ifrah Law’s Jessica Feil Spoke at GiGse 2017

Tracking regulatory updates within skill-based, social, eSports and DFS gaming challenges.

— Ifrah Law firm’s Jessica Feil spoke at GiGse 2017, the nation’s largest conference of US gaming industry leaders and regulators. As moderator of the session entitled Tracking regulatory updates within skill-based, social, eSports and DFS gaming challenges, Feil was joined by panelists Susan Hensel and Kenneth L. George, Jr. to take a look at current state-by-state approaches and what impacts the new Trump administration may have on operators and their customers.

2017 Edition of GiGse took place on April 26 – 28 at the Marriott Marquis Marina in San Diego. The event gave attendees an insight into how to monetize digital features, profile and target the current consumer base, acquire land-based users, and implement a successful social casino strategy in today’s business climate. Among the topics covered this year were implementing and monetizing skill-based gaming, virtual reality and eSports; the regulatory environment of social gaming, skill-based gaming, eSports and daily fantasy sports; and creating political cohesion.

At the end of the first day of GiGse, Jessica Feil moderated a panel consisting of Pennsylvania Gaming Control’s director of licensing and a chairman from Forest County Potawatomi. The three lead a discussion intended to give attendees a perspective on current and future legislation that is different from industry insiders and their customers. Covering all fifty states, they provided an understanding of each government’s view on different gaming channels, explain how current regulations are affecting businesses, and help form an idea of what the Trump administration will mean to the future of the industry. In addition, on the second day of GiGse, Feil served as a judge on the Launchpad panel, a Shark Tank-style competition where five start-ups pitched their ideas to the GiGse audience.

Feil is an associate with Ifrah Law, a Chambers top rated firm based in Washington, D.C. Specializing in the areas of online gambling, eSports, and licensing, she assists top operators in growing and expanding their businesses within regulatory guidelines. Prior to joining the firm, as Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for the Cuyahoga Country Prosecutor’s Office, Feil oversaw an active docket of over 70 cases, serving as first chair on a number of assignments. Prior to that, she was an associate at a boutique criminal defense firm where she regularly appeared in court with clients at arraignments, pre-trial conferences, changes of plea, and sentencing hearings.

Ifrah Law is a nationally recognized law firm that specializes in the successful navigation of government investigations, complex litigation, white-collar defense, gaming, and eSports. The firm was founded in October of 2009 by Jeff Ifrah, who has been widely recognized for his legal excellence by the National Law Journal, Chambers USA, and Nightingale’s Healthcare News, among others. The firm’s talented team of litigators includes seasoned members of the Federal Trade Commission and several highly trained veterans from the nation’s most respected law firms. As a result, Ifrah Law is well known for its established relationships with federal prosecutors and investigators in agencies including the Department of Justice, FTC, Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Defense, and others.

Jeff Ifrah Law – Hands-on Counsel, Gloves-off Litigation: http://www.jeffifrahlaw.com

Jeff Ifrah – White-Collar Washington DC based Legal Expert: http://jeffifrahdc.com

Jeff Ifrah – Widely Recognized White-Collar Criminal Defense Lawyer: http://jeffifrahnews.com

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Firms reluctant to hire women who may have children,…

Press Association

One in seven employers admit they would be reluctant to hire a woman who might have children, according to a new study.

A survey of 800 managers found that concern was more common among men (18%) than women (10%).

The Young Women’s Trust said its research also showed that one in four organisations considered whether a woman was pregnant or had young children during decisions about career progression or promotion.

The charity pointed out that making such hiring or promotion decisions was illegal.

Young Women’s Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton said: “It’s no wonder women are held back in the workplace when employers have such outdated, discriminatory views.

“It is employers and our economy that miss out on the talents of young women as a result. Young women who want to work are meanwhile struggling to make ends meet and finding themselves in debt.

“Employers should value young women’s contributions to their workplaces and do more to accommodate them, including by offering more flexible and part-time working opportunities.

“It’s not just employers who need to stop treating women as second class citizens. Society as a whole should support men to take an equal role in childcare. Until that happens, women will continue to face discrimination at work.”

One in three employers surveyed said that men will never take an equal role in caring for children.

Maria Miller, who chairs the Women and Equalities Committee, says pregnancy discrimination is still a huge problem (Yui Mok/PA)

Maria Miller, who chairs the Women and Equalities Committee, says pregnancy discrimination is still a huge problem (Yui Mok/PA)

Maria Miller, who chairs the Women and Equalities Committee, says pregnancy discrimination is still a huge problem (Yui Mok/PA)

Maria Miller, who chairs the Women and Equalities Committee, said: “Despite it being illegal to make recruitment decisions based on assumptions about a woman’s role in childcare, these figures show that there is still a huge problem with pregnancy and maternity discrimination.

“When the Committee looked at this issue over a year ago it was shocked by the extent of discrimination.

“Its report called on the Government to take further action to encourage wider compliance with the law by employers.”

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