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Does your workforce include casual employees? Laws relating to casual employment have undergone significant changes due to recent amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act). Several changes require employers to take action now, by or after 27 September 2021. We set these out below along with some recommended actions.

In the current pandemic, many employers have been required to rapidly shift to a remote working model. This shift has raised a number of issues that employers have had to consider, including how best to monitor remote workers’ hours of work, how to appropriately supervise and mentor them, and how to appropriately address health and safety obligations outside the usual office environment.
With the tightening of Australia’s border controls restricting the ability of individuals to travel overseas and back again, employers are now also grappling with situations where employees who have traveled outside Australia are requesting the ability to work remotely whilst overseas.

For a little over a year now, the financial sector has been occupied with the need for resilience in the face of the challenges posed by the pandemic, but we are now swiftly and surely moving into the reform and renewal stages of recovery. It’s now time to reflect on what is changing as well as the lessons we have learnt so that the financial sector can continue to best serve and support its clients and markets.

Hong Kong controls dual-use items under the Import and Export Ordinance and its corresponding subsidiary legislation, the Import and Export Regulations. On 17 September 2021, an order to amend the list of strategic commodities under relevant schedules to the IESCR came into effect. The amendments aim to align Hong Kong’s control list with international non-proliferation regimes, including the Wassenaar Arrangement.

On 1 August 2021, the regulatory framework for Advanced Therapy Products (ATPs) came into operation in Hong Kong. ATPs, which are innovative medical products based on genes, cells and tissues that have been subject to ‘substantial manipulation’ or are intended for non-homologous use, have been added to the definition of ‘pharmaceutical products’ under the existing Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance and its subsidiary legislation, the Pharmacy and Poisons Regulations.

An overarching theme of COP26 and a priority of the UK presidency is to enhance climate change ambition. As countries set enhanced climate plans and pledges for 2030 (called “nationally determined contributions”) and set net-zero targets for 2050 (or earlier), they are also looking to the private sector to participate in this “race to zero.

Trade between China and Africa almost doubled between 2020 and 2021, and over the last 20 years trade between China and the region has increased twenty-fold. Challenges, such as Africa’s over-dependence on natural resources and vast lack of essential infrastructure, must still be addressed, but the African Continental Free Trade Area is gearing up to provide a further boost for all of the continent’s major trading partners.

On 3 June 2021, the Trade Remedy Authority of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) received a petition for an anti-dumping investigation with regard to office desks and chairs originating from China and Malaysia. The petitioners are Xuan Hoa Vietnam JSC, and Hoa Phat Furniture., JSC. On 1 September 2021, the MOIT issued Decision No. 2091/QD-BCT to officially conduct the investigation.

ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) considerations are growing in importance for companies and businesses globally, so much so that we have now arrived at the point where ESG has become one of the key priorities in boardrooms everywhere. Regulations are emerging, the pressure from stakeholders is increasing, and consumers are becoming more conscious of ESG issues, which is influencing their purchasing decisions as noted recently by the Head of Marketing at a Thai consumer goods company, “Consumers increasingly want to purchase products from organizations that are good at achieving their ESG goals