News in Brief November 2018 Cybersecurity is now top concern for businesses The latest survey of 12,000 top executives around the world by the World Economic Forum (WEF) has indicated that cyber-attacks are now the biggest threat to businesses around the world. Following a series of high profile security breaches at companies including BA and HSBC the issue has shot up the list of business leaders’ priorities to take the number one spot. Lori Bailey, global head of Cyber Risk at Zurich Insurance Group and member of the WEF's Global Future Council on Cybersecurity commented, “Cyber-attacks are seen as the number one risk for doing business in markets that account for 50% of global GDP… this strongly suggests that governments and businesses need to strengthen cybersecurity and resilience in order to maintain confidence in a highly connected digital economy.” Agency workers losing out on rights and pay A study by the Resolution Foundation has suggested agency workers in the UK are missing out on at least £500m a year in missing holiday pay, as well as receiving around 22p an hour less, on average, than permanent employees doing exactly the same work. While there are genuine benefits of flexibility from agency work for some workers, the average pay penalty was £400 a year per worker compared with direct employees. Top causes included missing holiday pay, lack of auto-enrolment in pension schemes and travel costs, as well as firms violating their equal treatment obligations and imposing covert deductions for things like uniforms. Industrial dispute looms at British Gas over pension reforms British Gas owner Centrica faces rising anger from its 11,000 engineers over plans to cut worker pensions as part of a £200 million cost-saving exercise, at a time when executive pay at the firm is perceived to remain high. One estimate suggested staff could end up with £190,000 less in their retirement pot over a 15-year period if the plans go through as announced. Meanwhile, Chief Executive Iain Conn enjoyed a 40% pay rise to £4.15 million in 2016 and workers expressed anger over other senior executives who would benefit if share prices rise off the back of the move. Centrica commented that they were consulting with unions and colleagues about the proposals, which were key to keeping the company price competitive with rivals.