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In brief

In an article for Compliance & Risk Journal, Kim Sartin and Rachel Farr discuss the tricky course employers have to navigate in a shifting compliance landscape and explain what to focus on in 2022.

Key takeaways

  • This article considers the key challenges for UK employers over the next 12 months and beyond as they navigate a complex landscape before addressing a number of areas in which there is likely to be increased enforcement focus in 2022.  These areas are those where we expect to see the most scrutiny – whether from regulators, media, or employees and unions – and therefore the greatest legal, financial, reputational or regulatory risks. 
  • Issues include the impact of COVID-19, including the practice of hybrid and remote working and return to the workplace.  The pandemic has brought health and safety matters into greater focus, especially in traditionally “lower risk” workplaces.
  • Regulators’ growing interest in equality, diversity and inclusion is based on a recognition of research that diverse teams perform better, are more innovative and better manage risk.  Pay transparency, and the development of a speak up culture, are hot topics, while employers are taking action in new areas such as support for domestic violence survivors and mental health and wellbeing.
  • Technological advances enable further data collection, but there is increasing awareness of data privacy challenges to such practices, while the European Commission and the UK’s Trades Union Congress have both considered how individuals should be protected as AI becomes more widely used.  Meanwhile, worker status questions continue to arise as new working models, including greater use of technology, are developed.
  • The government has confirmed that a new single enforcement body will be created, with broad powers to investigate and enforce breaches such as failure to pay national minimum wage, statutory sick pay and holiday pay for vulnerable workers, as well as protections for agency workers and modern slavery laws.  In the face of this governmental commitment, now si the time for employers to ensure their practices are compliant.
  • This article first appeared in volume 11, issue 1 of Compliance & Risk Journal (
  • Click hereto access the full briefing.

Kim Sartin is a partner in Baker McKenzie's Employment and Compensation team in London and a Member of the Firm’s Global TMT Group SteerCo. She is ranked as a leading individual in Chambers, as Up and Coming for Industrial Relations and recognised for her experience in the TMT sector (Chambers Global, UK). She is described as “a true global partner” who “stands apart with her business acumen”.


Rachel Farr is a Senior Knowledge Lawyer in Baker McKenzie, London office.

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