Tuesday newspaper round-up: Test-and-trace workers, The Hut Group, Hitachi

by | May 11, 2021

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Many workers employed across the £37bn NHS test-and-trace service are being paid through networks of opaque small companies that experts fear could be defrauding the Treasury via a notorious tax scheme. The Guardian investigated after sources working at Covid-19 call centres, testing sites, mobile testing units and laboratories raised concerns about their payslips and employment terms. – Guardian

The millionaire CEOs of some of the American companies with the lowest-paid workers saw an average pay raise of 29% in 2020 while their workers saw a 2% decrease, according to a report released Tuesday. The Institute for Policy Studies calculated that the average CEO compensation in 2020 was $15.3m when looking at the 100 companies with the lowest median wage for workers in the S&P 500 index. – Guardian

The Japanese technology powerhouse Softbank has become a major shareholder in The Hut Group (THG), in a deal that catapults the Manchester make-up and protein shakes retailer onto the global stage. After the stock market closed on Monday, Softbank was unveiled as the cornerstone backer of a $1bn (£710m) fundraising intended to fuel THG’s growth. – Telegraph

Ministers are demanding that Hitachi picks up the multi million-pound bill for passenger compensation after some of Britain’s busiest rail lines were hit by mass cancellations due to faulty trains. Passengers endured a third day of significant disruption on intercity services to the north and west as investigators continued their probe into the threat of faults on Hitachi trains. Two InterCity 225 trains built in the early 1990s will be brought back into service later this week by LNER, the state-owned east coast main line, in response to the problems. – Telegraph

Landlords have lost a legal action to challenge the use of an insolvency procedure by New Look, the high street retailer. Land Securities and British Land were among landlords who opposed the use of a company voluntary arrangement, or CVA, by New Look as the fashion chain dropped rent arrears and created a new basis for its rent. Last September, New Look said that a CVA was an “absolute necessity” to safeguard 11,200 jobs, after the pandemic forced the closure of its stores. It was its second use of a CVA in only three years. – The Times

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