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After a new labour agreement between employment federations and unions restricts French workers in the digital and consultancy sectors from working after 6pm, this article gives some interesting examples of methods that some employers are using to promote a happier, healthier working environment.  The changes will affect up to one million workers in France and some major international companies with branches in France such as Google and Facebook too. The move comes as a way of protecting France’s 35 hour working week which unions claim is under threat in the digital age. In other industries, international companies are attempting to stave off claims for a ‘life time balance’ charter which includes similar commitments. Before you all rush to get the Eurostar, not all workers will be covered if broader changes are brought in. For example, lawyers and doctors are typically categorised as ‘self-employed’ and do not benefit from the 35 hour working week.
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A proposal from the European Commission would put remuneration policies to a binding shareholder vote. The proposals, if passed, would apply to publicly traded companies and is part of a series of reforms proposed by the EU to curb excessive executive pay and encourage a link between long term performance and remuneration. Under the proposal, pay policies would need to indicate the set maximum level for executive pay and how this would contribute to the long-term interests and sustainability of the company.
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BDBF is delighted to announce that it has appointed Nick Wilcox, a senior employment lawyer with expertise in the insurance and shipping industries, as the newest addition to the team. Nick will lead BDBF's charge in expanding the work it does for senior executives and companies across the areas of insurance, shipping and trade.
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Despite pledges not to in 2010, state-owned RBS which made a loss of £8.2bn last year has announced the closure of 44 banks, 14 of which are classified as the ‘last banks in town’. RBS sites a 30% fall in branch transactions in the last four years as the reason for the closures. Campaigners have accused the bank of letting its customers down. Arpita Dutt of BDBF also commented that this closure could have a considerable impact on older or disabled people who would find it harder to access the bank’s remaining branches and services, which is why equality impact assessments can be crucial.  
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‘It’s all about jobs’ for the Conservatives as Osborne puts full employment on top of the agenda of a future Conservative government. The chancellor’s latest statement marks a string of moves, including divisive cuts in bingo and beer taxes, which target the working class voters who it is thought will determine the next general election. These targets would mean a UK unemployment rate of approximately 5%, current figures stand at approximately 7.2%. Labour consider the focus should be on the cost of living crisis and the working poor.
George Osborne has targeted “full employment” as the goal of a future Conservative government, as he attempts to redirect his party’s core message away from the focus on deficit reduction. The chancellor proclaimed that “it’s all about jobs”, in an
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A good news story in the growing backlash against executive pay as Next chief executive, Lord Wolfson, decides to gift his £4m bonus to Next staff for the second year in a row.  Lord Wolfson elected to share his bonus with the 20,000 staff who had worked at Next since April 2011. He attributes the rise in 65% of profits to the huge increase in the value of his bonus. The news comes shortly after the proposal by the EU Commission that shareholders should have a binding vote on remuneration policies. 
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Promising reports from the British Chambers of Commerce indicate services firms and manufacturers are benefitting from the strongest investment and export growth in more than a century. A report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG also shows that 29% said starting salaries increased last month. However, it is not all good news as there are reports of a reduction in the overall availability of permanent candidate positions. Fixed term contracts are contracts which normally expire automatically at a certain date or the completion of a specific task. This is a worrying trend and employees should be concerned as changes to employment law mean that they will have no rights not to be unfairly dismissed (which includes a failure to renew a contract) unless they have been employed for at least two years.
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Following losses last year, state-owned RBS snaps up Ewen Stevenson as new chief financial officer. The news will perhaps go some way to pacifying shareholder angst at the news that RBS intends to close close 44 branches after it made a £8.2bn loss in 2013.
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Following on from PWC’s study of executive pay which shows an average 3% decrease in top executive pay in FTSE 100 companies, it has been revealed that the Prudential has increased the amount paid to its top global directors from £38m to £47m in 2013. Hong Kong listing rules required the insurer to reveal information on the highest paid individual in the organisation, not just the boardroom. This revealed that one unidentified individual outside the boardroom received £17.5 million in 2013. The Prudential’s operating profits rose 17% in 2013. 
Top eight directors' pay for 2013 up sharply from £38m in 2012, with US boss Mike Wells receiving £11.7m in cash and shares
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Morrisons chief executive becomes the latest in a line of listed company directors to waive his bonus. Dalton Philips has voluntarily waived his £374,000 bonus for meeting certain strategic targets after profits at Morrisons dropped 13%. The drop has prompted speculation about an upcoming supermarket price war.
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/mar/27/morrisons-chief-dalton-philips-waives-bonus
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23 Austin Friars London EC2N 2QP United Kingdom
23 Austin FriarsGBLondonEC2N 2QP
+44 20 3542 5400bdbf.co.uk
Legal Services
BDBF is a specialist employment law boutique based in the City of London. BDBF was set up by recognised leaders in the employment law field to deliver high quality advice that exceeds clients’ expectations and resolves (whether through litigation or settlement) the biggest workplace disputes.

We are most well known for the work we do on behalf of senior executives working in the world’s biggest financial institutions although we have a wealth of experience advising employees across a wide range of industries. We help individuals resolve the issues they face in their working lives in a way that leaves them financially protected and with their careers and reputations intact. We also work with businesses to pre-empt employment disputes and to find commercial and pragmatic solutions to their employee challenges.

The lawyers in the team have been ranked as amongst the best in the country by the independent directories: Chambers, The Legal 500 and Super Lawyers. Gareth Brahams and Arpita Dutt were cited in The Lawyer magazine as two of the ‘Hot 100 Lawyers to Watch’ in 2012 and 2011 respectively.
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