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In November 2022 the UK Government announced a new, temporary 45% levy on “exceptional” receipts generated from the production of wholesale electricity and published a “technical note” on the operation of the levy. Despite heavy criticism of the move by many clean energy market participants, on 20 December 2022 the UK Government confirmed its intention to press ahead with the EGL by publishing a supplementary technical note and draft legislation outlining the details of how the new tax would operate. The EGL has been introduced from 1 January 2023 and will have an impact on existing and potential investors in the UK clean energy market.

On 4 January 2023, the new UK subsidy control regime under the Subsidy Control Act 2022 came into force. This completes the overhaul of the UK’s approach to subsidies following Brexit and the UK’s decision to diverge from the EU’s State aid regime. The new rules will apply to subsidies granted by public authorities on or after 4 January 2023.

Industrial action is on the rise throughout Europe; in this webinar we looked at the differences and similarities in the industrial action process across France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland and the UK, the potential legal remedies in each jurisdiction and the practical steps employers can take to keep the business running.

Equal pay for men and women has been enshrined in UK law since 1970. Since then, and particularly since the turn of the century, equal pay claims have tended to take the form of mass claims in the public and retail sectors. In recent years, however, there has been renewed focus on individual equal pay claims. We expect that the Financial Conduct Authority will step up its scrutiny of equal pay and remuneration policies.

The UK’s Department of Health and Social Care has announced that the voluntary scheme payment percentage for 2023 will be set at 26.5% of sales for 2023 (representing almost GBP 3.3 billion). This is a further major increase to last year’s VPAS significant rate rise to 15% (around GBP 1.8 billion, rising from GBP 0.6 billion in 2021).

In this edition of the Demystifying ESG Webinar Series, Beatriz Araujo, Senior Counsel, Head of Corporate Governance at Baker McKenzie, Isabel Carty, Senior Associate at Baker McKenzie and Peter O’Byrne, Natura & Co Group IP director and The Body Shop General Counsel discuss diversity and how it can support the board in its role. Peter also shares some exciting initiatives of The Body Shop International Board as they relate to the role of diversity in corporate governance.

The Court of Appeal has confirmed that an Acas-negotiated COT3 settlement agreement covered an individual’s claim that his former employer had knowingly helped a subsidiary unlawfully victimize him when the subsidiary rejected his job application. This situation was covered by the COT3’s express terms settling claims that indirectly arose in connection with his employment.

2022 has seen further case law on the issue of the potential conflict between expressions of gender-critical beliefs in the workplace and proponents of gender identity. There are currently four main cases in this sphere: Forstater v. CGD Europe; Mackereth v. DWP; Higgs v. Farmor’s School; and Bailey v. Garden Court Chambers and Stonewall. There have been decisions in all four cases during 2022.