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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 (http://www.pdpjournals.com).
  • Click hereto access the full briefing.
Author

Kim Sartin is a partner in Baker McKenzie's Employment and Compensation team in London. She advises senior legal and HR professionals on a wide range of employment and data protection matters. Kim is also a member of the Firm's Compliance & Investigations Practice Group where she works with a multidisciplinary team of lawyers in managing the employment and privacy aspects of compliance investigations. Kim is a regular speaker at internal and external conferences and seminars on a range of employment, data protection and compliance topics. She is a frequent contributor to legal journals and a contributor to the Tolley's Discrimination Handbook. Chambers UK 2021 described her as "very responsive and knowledgeable; her guidance is clear, effective and to the point." "She is very client-focused, intelligent and calm under pressure." "She is great - helpful, proactive and always tries to find a solution." Chambers UK 2022 "She is business-focused, practical and gives practical solutions." "She is a very good lawyer who is very strong technically."

Author

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

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