Europe, Middle East and Africa




Supermarket Puts Freeze on Old Labels
Consumer Protection, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, Health, Safety and Environment

The Guardian reports that supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has announced changes to the advice that appears on its food packaging, which it hopes will reduce the amount of food thrown out by consumers. Sainsbury’s reportedly believes up to 800,000 tonnes of food, worth an estimated £2 billion, is thrown away by consumers because current packaging suggests that they should “freeze on day of purchase”. Sainsbury’s fresh and frozen product head of technology Beth Hart reportedly stated that “[the] advice needs to be changed as there is no food safety reason why it cannot be frozen at any point prior to the use-by date. As a large UK retailer, we have a responsibility to minimise food waste where possible and this new labelling will certainly help us do that”.
The Guardian: Sainsbury’s changes food freezing advice in bid to cut food waste (10 February 2012)
(Source: The Guardian)


Airline Founder Urges Shareholders to Make Hard Decision
Business Ethics and Corporate Culture, Employment and Workplace Issues, Financial Integrity

The Guardian reports that former easyJet owner Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has criticised the company’s executive remuneration package and has urged the company’s investors to reject the board’s latest remuneration report. Sir Stelios, who reportedly remains the airline’s biggest single shareholder, criticised the board for wanting to “carry on with the same fat-cat City bonus culture”, and for setting easily achievable bonus targets. Independent investment consultancy firm PIRC reportedly advised shareholders to reject the remuneration report because the level of remuneration specified was excessive and bonuses where described using an “undue level of complexity”. easyJet chairperson Sir Michael Rake reportedly countered that the “remuneration strategy is designed to deliver the performance and long-term success of the company which all our shareholders want. This has been illustrated by the commitment to vote in favour of all resolutions by easyJet’s three largest institutional shareholders”.
The Guardian: Investors back easyJet board in pay battle with Sir Stelios (12 February 2012)
(Source: The Guardian)


Outgoing Chief to Get Almost £1.7 Million
Business Ethics and Corporate Culture, Other

The Guardian reports that Misys chief executive Mike Lawrie could receive a £1.7 million payoff package when he leaves the company in March 2012. Reportedly, Mr Lawrie faced criticism last year for receiving a £2 million bonus. According to the Guardian, following the proposed merger of Mysis and Temenos, Temenos chief executive Guy Dubois will head the enlarged group, with the result that Mr Lawrie will leave his position as Mysis chief executive. Mysis’s annual report reportedly states that “[i]n the event of a change of control, if the contract is terminated either directly or indirectly as a result within the following 12-month period, [Mr Lawrie] will be entitled to receive a sum equal to 12 months’ salary, on-target bonus, pension contribution and health insurance”, which means that Mr Lawrie, an American citizen, could receive up to US$1.1 million in salary, a US$1.3 million bonus, and about US$280,000 in benefits and pension contributions. The bonus received by Mr Lawrie in 2011 was deemed by the shareholder advisory group Pirc as “wholly excessive”, reports the Guardian.
Guardian: Misys chief executive could be in line for £1.7m payoff (8 February 2012)
(Source: Guardian)


Inspection of Employee Emails
Privacy and Data Protection

The Persónuvernd has made available Decision 2011/327 (17 January 2012 – Icelandic language version available only). This Decision relates to the inspection of a previous employee’s email by an employer. 
Further information from the Persónuvernd
(Source: Persónuvernd)


Company Installs Excessive Surveillance
Employment and Workplace Issues, Privacy and Data Protection

CNIL has made available Decision 2011-036 (16 December 2011 – French language version available only). This decision relates to Oceatech Equipement, where an officer of the company implemented a video surveillance device that placed employees under constant surveillance, and allowed the company to listen to employee conversations. Eight cameras were installed with microphones, to monitor the company’s eight employees. Oceatech claimed that the system was set up to ensure the safety of employees and protect against theft. CNIL found that the cameras were used to continuously monitor employees.
(Source: CNIL)