Retail Compass Summer edition 2019
Welcome to the Summer 2019 edition of Retail Compass – our guide to key upcoming legal and policy changes affecting Retail and our thoughts on the need-to-know issues.
Retail remains a key focus for RPC. We understand the issues retailers face and have a deep knowledge of what is happening and what is likely to matter the most to you and your business.
We started Retail Compass back in 2017 and continue to publish twice a year, addressing developments in six core areas: Commercial, Data Protection, Corporate, Employment, Real Estate and Tax. Our primary focus remains on the UK but we have also included some highlights for the USA, Australia and China, where many of our Retail clients and contacts operate.
Because we see our role as lawyers as helping you avoid any surprises, horizon-scanning continues to make up a large part of Retail Compass. We’ve included various hot topic items of relevance to the sector, and previewed some key changes due in early 2020. As before, we’ve also included other features such as interesting statistics, a list of Government consultations/inquiries and a legislation tracker.
We hope this edition is helpful for your business. We would love to hear any feedback or comments so please feel free to contact us.
Headline legal and policy developments
10 June 2019: Implementation of the Shareholder Rights Directive II
This aims to encourage long-term shareholder engagement and transparency between traded companies and investors. Read more.
14 June 2019: New rules banning harmful gender stereotyping in advertising
The Advertising Standards Agency and Committee of Advertising Practice have introduced rules banning harmful stereotypes in all advertising. Read more.
16 July 2019: Proposed changes to the UK Stewardship Code
The Financial Reporting Council is planning to introduce a revised UK Stewardship Code, which will set out principles of good practice for engaging with the companies in which they invest to set out effective standards of stewardship across the investor community. Read more.
14 September 2019: Two-factor authentication becomes mandatory for many online transactions
The second Payment Services Directive will mandate two-factor authentication for qualifying online transactions, including retail transactions. Read more.
1 October 2019: Legislation on VAT reverse charge for construction services
Certain building and construction services and materials will face a VAT reverse charge in order to prevent the avoidance of VAT payment by suppliers. Read more.
October 2019: “Making Tax Digital” initiative to begin
The Government’s “Making Tax Digital” initiative will begin its roll-out, which will require certain businesses to record and submit their VAT digitally. Read more.
31 October 2019: Brexit – current position and considerations
The UK’s “current” date of withdrawal from EU is set to be 31 October 2019 with a transitional period lasting until 31 December 2020. Read more.
30 November 2019: Drone registration and remote pilot competency requirements
The Civil Aviation Authority will be introducing drone registration and remote pilot competency requirements. Read more.
9 December 2019: Extension of Senior Managers and Certification Regime
Retailers who are FCA authorised will need to comply with a new individual accountability and conduct regime known as the Senior Managers and Certification Regime. Read more.
31 December 2019: Disclosure of cross-border tax planning arrangements under EU Directive
Pursuant to EU legislation all cross-border tax planning arrangements under EU Directive by intermediaries involved in the planning of arrangements. Read more.
Late 2019: Changes to casual employment laws (Australia)
Many aspects of the regulation of casual employment have seen a wave of changes in Australia in 2019, which is seeing more possible changes in the near future. Read more.
Late 2019: New Catalogue of Encouraged Industries for Foreign Investment 2019 (China)
A new catalogue listing specific industries in which foreign investment is encouraged will be released during the year, including in retail. Read more
Late 2019: Law Commission to propose changes to enfranchisement
After a consultation the Law Commission is seeking to propose new changes to legislation involving enfranchisement, further empowering leaseholders to acquire the estates they have a leasehold in. Read more.