High-polluting leaded petrol was recently eradicated from the world, eliminating what was identified as a huge threat to human health and well-being, as well as its devastating effect on nature. This is just the latest development in the Environmental, Social and Governance and climate change story, which has evolved at ferocious speed over the past two-three years and has now become a key focus for both governments and organisations alike.
Reclassification of individuals or activities for one purpose can have knock on consequences to business models and can lead to issues and liabilities in areas such as employment, wage tax, pensions, tax and regulatory. A decision or change in one area of law may be a time to re-assess the business model and consider whether that determination might have wider commercial implications.
Belarus-related sanctions restrictions were recently introduced by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland and Ukraine. The objective of newly introduced sanctions is to mount international pressure against the current oppressive regime in Belarus by preventing international companies from doing business in selected economic sectors of this country.
Our quarterly “Working with Unions” bulletin is designed to keep employers updated with key cases and legal developments affecting trade unions and employee representative bodies. Our latest bulletin covers the period of April to June 2021 and includes an interesting Central Arbitration Committee decision considering the effect of Brexit on UK European Works Councils and a decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal reading down section 146 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 to give workers protection from detriment for taking industrial action.
On 5 August 2021, the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (“OFSI“) imposed a GBP 50,000 penalty on TransferGo Limited (“TransferGo“), a UK FinTech company, for breaching UK sanctions when it issued instructions to make payments to accounts held at the Russian National Commercial Bank (“RNCB“), a designated party.
Following recent events in Afghanistan, on 18 August 2021 the ECJU announced that open general export licences in five categories, including dual-use items, may no longer be used where the permitted destination is Afghanistan.
On August 9, 2021, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada significantly escalated sanctions against Belarus in a multilateral effort to put pressure on the current Lukashenko regime. These sanctions were announced on the first anniversary of the fraudulent elections held in Belarus on August 9, 2020 and follow a series of previous measures against Belarus, including most recently the coordinated measures between the UK, US, Canada and the EU in June (see our previous blog post here) and the sectoral sanctions also introduced by the EU in June (see our previous blog post here).
A series of briefings that take a “bite-size” look at international trends in different jurisdictions, drawing on Baker McKenzie’s expert financial services practitioners.
On 20 July 2021, the European Commission presented a package of legislative proposals establishing a new framework for the EU’s anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing (AML/CTF) regime. The package will create an EU-wide AML supervisory authority, establish a new directly applicable single rulebook, and extend the scope and requirements of the regime including, significantly, to all cryptoasset service providers. In this briefing we explore the Commission’s proposals in more detail. We also set out considerations for UK firms, including HM Treasury’s recent consultations on the UK AML/CTF regime
On 19 July 2021, most COVID-19 related restrictions were lifted in England. However, the government cautioned against an immediate full return to the office, saying that it expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer, emphasizing employers’ obligations to ensure a safe place of work.