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In this fifth and final installment of ID&E IMPACT, our Labor and Employment team in the US and UK chat about what’s fueling the trending surge in pay equity audits, the risks and rewards, what organizations should keep top of mind in the pay equity review process, and what employers can expect as a result of the EU Pay Transparency Directive reporting requirement.

This bulletin covers the period of October 2022 to March 2023 and includes a decision of the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) on the limitation period for bringing a Regulation 20 claim under the Transnational Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 1999 and two interesting Employment Appeal Tribunal decisions considering: (i) whether the CAC has jurisdiction to hear complaints post Brexit where central management is situated in the UK, and (ii) whether the duty to inform and consult arises where collective redundancies are happening in multiple European Economic Area states but there is no common rationale for the redundancies.

The UK government announced on 15 March 2023 that customs valuation rulings, so-called Advance Valuation Rulings (AVR), would soon be a feature of the UK Customs regime. On 27 April 2023, the UK government published guidance on submitting applications for an AVR with the system going live. This is despite the necessary legislative amendments not yet coming into force.

The FCA has published a consultation paper (CP23/10) proposing major changes to the listing rules. The deadline for responses is Wednesday, 28 June 2023 and the FCA expects to publish a further consultation “in the autumn” which will include the proposed revised listing rules in full (the current consultation discusses the changes proposed but not specific drafting). The proposals relate to the rules as they apply to listings of equity shares in commercial companies, with no material changes currently proposed to the rules as they apply to non-equity securities nor the majority of other standard listed instruments (e.g., depositary receipts).

Restructuring is commonly used by employers to weather the economic storm. For a dismissal to be fair, it needs to be for a fair reason (which includes redundancy) and follow a fair process. However, there are additional considerations that an employer should take into account where disabled employees are affected, which, if breached, could result in financial and reputational high value claims against the employer.

Ethnicity pay gap reporting in the UK remains voluntary. For organizations that choose to report this data, the government has now published guidance on how to do so, recommending that they mirror the rules on gender pay gap reporting where possible. The big difference is that ethnicity pay gap reporting involves multiple categories.

The UK Government published on 25 April 2023 its long-awaited Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill. The Bill introduces radical new digital sector regulation – akin to the EU’s Digital Markets Act – in addition to expanding the UK Competition & Markets Authority’s consumer protection powers and introducing significant reforms for the UK competition regime.

The UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) has updated its guidance on enforcement and monetary penalties for breaches of financial sanctions to include a number of paragraphs setting out OFSI’s expectations around the nature and type of due diligence that companies should undertake when assessing whether an entity is owned or controlled by one or more designated persons, for sanctions purposes.

On 17 March 2023, the government published an update on its progress in delivering its Inclusive Britain action plan that it published in March 2022. As part of that update, the government has published guidance for employers on how to take positive action to help people with protected characteristics overcome certain barriers and improve representation in their workforce without falling foul of the unlawful discrimination rules.