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Wearing the Niqab

The Guardian includes an interesting short video discussion on wearing the Niqab: “Columnists Nabila Ramdani and Joan Smith discuss whether any restrictions should apply to the wearing of the Islamic full-face veil (niqab) in public. Is Britain on the way to a French-style ban? Is the matter one of national importance? Or are the number of people wearing the niqab in Britain too small for it to be a serious concern?” (see:
Source: The Guardian, 23 Sept 2013

Third of apprenticeships paid less than minimum wage

Almost one third of apprentices were paid less than the legal minimum wage in 2012 with the number rising by 45% compared with 2011, according to the Apprenticeship Pay Survey (see: Underpayment was particularly prevalent in childcare, hairdressing and construction roles. Changes to the national minimum wage rules that came into force on 1 October will apply tougher sanctions for employers’ breaches.

Stress most likely cause of ill health

A survey of over 1,000 employees between June and July 2013 by Canada Life reports that older employees are most likely to experience health problems as a result of work-related stress. Younger respondents in their 20s reported their job as a cause of weight gain, and 41% of respondents aged between 51-55 said that they experienced illness as a result of work-related stress. The insurer suggested that employers’ healthy living benefits or incentives should focus more on these age groups.

Source: Employee Benefits, 27 Aug 2013

Muslim footballer pulls out of club tour because of sponsor’s business

Papiss Cisse, a striker for Newcastle football club and who is a Muslim, has pulled out of the club’s pre-season tour in Portugal in protest at the club’s sponsor, Wonga, a pay day loan company, and the requirement that players wear Wonga branded training kit. Under Sharia law, Muslims are not permitted to benefit from lending or receiving money from someone, and which precludes interest – Wonga’s APR reportedly exceeds 4000%.

EEOC files first class action under law

In its first class action lawsuit under GINAEEOC sued the Founders Pavilion, Inc., a Corning, N.Y., nursing and rehabilitation center, alleging it violated the Act by asking for genetic information during the hiring process. According to the suit, Founders conducted post-offer, pre-employment medical exams of applicants, which were repeated annually if the person was hired.

Graduates lose interest in careers in financial services sector

According to research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, graduates are losing interesting in investment banking careers, expressing more interest in job security, among other factors. Job opportunities in the financial services sector have fallen by a quarter compared with 2011, although the Centre forecasts that 30,000 jobs will be available in the City of London in 2012.

California Wal-Mart employees strike over retaliation claims

Employees from nine Wal-Mart stores in Southern California rallied in front of a Pico Rivera, California Wal-Mart store protesting management’s retaliation against employees complaining about working conditions, reported the New York Times. This was the first actual strike by Wal-Mart employees in the US. The company described it as a rally rather than a strike.

EEOC releases enforcement plan for feedback

Announcing the release of the EEOC’s draft strategic enforcement plan on Twitter, commissioner Chai Feldblum promised to read every comment submitted.  Comments must be submitted by 5:00 pm ET on September 18, 2012 at

European Commission likely to propose gender quotas

Recent media reports suggest that the EU will propose legislation in October 2012 that would establish gender quotas. The proposal’s detail is yet to be published but reportedly would require that 40% of non-executive directors be women. Listed companies with more than 250 employees, or €50m revenue, would have to achieve a 40% quota by 2020, or risk fines and possible exclusion from state aid and contracts. State-owned organizations would be expected to achieve a 40% quota by 2018.

Latinos now largest minority group in US four-year colleges

Hispanics now are the largest minority group on the nation's four-year college campuses, according to an analysis of newly available US Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center. The report, Hispanic Student Enrollments Reach New Highs in 2011, indicates that for the first time, the number of 18- to 24-year-old Hispanics enrolled in college exceeded 2 million and reached a record 16.5% share of all college enrollments.

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