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On 30 January 2024, the UK government announced its first equivalence decision in relation to the new overseas funds regime (OFR). The government has granted equivalence in respect of the pan-EEA UCITS regime, meaning that UCITS funds established in the EEA can be marketed to UK retail investors once the OFR becomes operational later this year. The FCA set out its proposals to operationalize the regime in December 2023.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal held that a single redundancy required some form of wider workforce consultation, and that this should be the norm for all individual redundancy exercises. Nevertheless, taking into account the facts of this case and long-established case law and rules on collective consultation, we consider that the main point is that consultation takes place with affected employee(s) at a time when it could make a difference.

With effect from 1 January 2024, the Office for the Protection of Competition (ÚOHS) of the Czech Republic issued a new notice on compliance programs specifying how ÚOHS will consider internal competition compliance rules as a mitigating circumstance when imposing fines. Since 2022, ÚOHS has recognized the enhancement of an existing compliance program, or the introduction of a new program, as a mitigating circumstance when imposing fines, subject to certain conditions. Building on the experience gained, the new ÚOHS notice outlines the conditions that businesses must meet for a compliance program to be considered effective and by how much the imposed fines can be reduced.

On 17 January 2024, the European Parliament adopted a proposal for a new EU Directive empowering consumers for the green transition introducing new rules to ban misleading advertising and to provide consumers with better product information. To achieve this, a number of marketing practices related to greenwashing will be added to the EU list of prohibited commercial practices. In addition, new rules on informing consumers on a product’s durability will be introduced.

The Home Office has announced that from 6 April 2024, the requirement to renew a Sponsor License after four years or to pay a renewal fee will be removed. This announcement is in line with the Home Office’s “August 2021 Sponsorship Roadmap”, which indicated the future reform of licensing renewal patterns for sponsored employment routes and the simplification of the Sponsor Migrant System. This is positive news as it reduces the burden on sponsors to maintain their license and removes the additional financial burden.

“All information about employees!” In practice, this is what works councils often request from employers. Works councils have a legitimate interest in being involved in HR developments. However, personal employee data is usually a taboo for the works council. Sharing more information than necessary with the works council may result in severe consequences for companies.

The FRC has published the revised version of the UK Corporate Governance Code. As flagged in its policy update statement in November, the revised Code makes much more limited changes than those proposed in the FRC’s initial consultation paper from May 2023. The majority of changes will take effect for financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2025, with the exception of revised Provision 29, which will take effect a year later. The FRC has published updated guidance to sit alongside the revised Code.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the human resources landscape, offering unprecedented opportunities for efficiency and innovation. However, this rapid adoption of AI also brings forth critical ethical considerations, particularly in the fields of employment law and human rights protection. Several laws and regulations on AI governance are currently on the way. At the EU level, for example, the AI Act is currently in the legislative process.