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In-house agenda: July 2021

Robert Clay

02 Jul 2021

Image credit: REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Businesses will be anticipating England’s expected move from Step 3 to Step 4 of its roadmap out of lockdown on 19 July 2021. In-house lawyers should also take note of the Law Commission’s recently-launched consultation on corporate criminal liability.

(Unless otherwise stated, links require a license to access the additional information.)

COVID-19

The delayed move from Step 3 of England’s roadmap out of lockdown to Step 4 is now expected to happen on 19 July. From this date, the government hopes to remove all legal limits on social contact, and in particular to reopen remaining premises, including nightclubs, and ease restrictions on large events and performances. It is anticipated that the guidance for people to work from home if they can,  will end on this date too. In addition, from 1 July, employers will be required to pay a 10% contribution to furlough pay.

Corporate criminal liability

The Law Commission has published a discussion paper on corporate criminal liability and launched a public consultation. The Law Commission is seeking views on whether, and how, the law relating to corporate criminal liability can be improved so that it appropriately captures and punishes criminal offences committed by corporations and their directors or senior management.

The consultation closes on 31 August.

Listing regime

HM Treasury has published a consultation on a proposed standalone power for the government to block listings on national security grounds. The consultation sets out the proposed scope of the power and additional disclosure requirements for issuers for the purposes of national security screening of listings. The scope of the power is intended to include all initial equity listings and admissions on UK public markets but would not apply to secondary trading.

The consultation closes on 27 August.

Corporate governance

The FRC has published a report on workforce engagement and the 2018 UK Corporate Governance Code. The report reviews company practice and reporting relating to Provision 5 of the 2018 Code, which sets out methods of workforce engagement. Based on the annual reports of FTSE 350 companies employing at least 50 staff, in response to the 2018 Code:

  • 40% have appointed a designated non-executive director (NED).
  • 12% have established an advisory panel.
  • 16% have appointed a NED and set up an advisory panel.
  • One company has appointed a worker director.

Climate change

The FCA has published a consultation on proposals to extend the application of the climate-related disclosure requirements to issuers of standard listed equity shares (excluding standard listed investment entities and shell companies), and seeking views on other topical environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in capital markets, including green and sustainable debt markets and ESG data and rating providers. Comments are requested by 10 September.

On 16 June, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published its third UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA3) Report. The CCRA3 Report identifies priority risk areas, which need immediate attention, at the latest in the next two years, including risks to nature, people and food supply. The CCC also states that the government must deliver a much better action plan to improve adaptation planning across the UK and integrate this into relevant government plans and policies.

Key dates for your diary

1 July

  • Any .eu domain name registration that has been suspended for belonging to a UK entity that does not meet the eligibility criteria for holding a .eu domain will be withdrawn on this date, unless the registration details are changed before that date to meet the eligibility criteria and achieve reinstatement.
  • Streaming becomes the default method of calculating patent box profits.

5 July

8 July

BEIS consultation on audit and corporate governance reform closes.

11 July

Closing date of call for views on measures to enhance security of digital supply chains and third-party IT services.

22 July

30 July

31 July

Written by our Practical Law experts. To see the original article, on the Practical Law In-house blog, please click here (free access).

To learn more about Practical Law, please click here.

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