Compliance, or accommodating the regulatory demands of a hyperactive government, has become a major preoccupation for every business. Some complain that compliance has in fact become their business, leaving business as a part-time activity. This narrow sense of the word is quite recent and American in origin: the Americans had a word for it, and an officer in charge of it, and a department to carry it out while we continued to wonder whether it was still legal to advertise for a Girl Friday. But 'compliance' itself is an old word and concept. It came from the French complir, to fill or complete, although it sounds like it has more to do with 'pliant', meaning easily persuaded. In the 17th century, when 'compliance' arrived, it had two meanings: on the one hand, an agreement or friendly relationship; on the other, yielding, submission and a willingness to conform. You may be able to guess which version died out – and which lives on to brighten our business lives.
Whatever you think of their taskmaster, 40,000 minicab drivers could soon be out of work.
Gemma Young's Settled is one of a growing crop of upstarts that want to make it easier (and not to mention cheaper) to sell your home.
But will that make it drag its heels over gig workers' rights?
New forms of work create big challenges for companies looking after their workers' wellbeing.
Stumped? Clock ticking? Read on.
UPDATE: The chief executive of Britain's biggest power station is about to step down.