Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright

Catrina Smith and Amanda Sanders explore new requirements aimed at weeding out senior banking executives with poor conduct records

On 7 March 2017, one year after the Senior Managers and Certification Regime was introduced to improve accountability in the financial services sector, the new regulatory reference requirements came into effect. The purpose of regulatory references is to make it harder for senior staff with poor conduct records to be ‘recycled’ between firms. It remains to be seen whether the new rules will have the desired effect of weeding out all those with poor conduct records or will simply create more disputes about references and result in more contentious exits.

Following the recent parliamentary inquiry into high heels and dress codes, Jonathan Iyer considers how employers can avoid sex discrimination when drawing up standards for personal appearance in the workplace

A dress code can have a number of benefits for an employer. It can allow it to communicate a corporate image or standardise its brand. It can help to instil trust and confidence in the business, projecting an image of professionalism and trustworthiness. Other considerations include health and safety and removing uncertainty about which items of clothing are, or are not, acceptable in a particular workplace environment. A dress code may also foster a culture of belonging.

Catrina Smith and Amanda Sanders examine proposals for companies to publish pay ratios showing what their senior executives earn compared to the rest of the workforce and for increased employee involvement in decision making

On 29 November 2016, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published a Green Paper on corporate governance reform. It sets out a range of proposals for strengthening the UK’s corporate governance framework, since the ‘behaviour of a limited few has damaged the reputation of many’. It seeks views on three areas:

Lauren Pullen-Stanley discusses the potential impact of the first tribunal decision to consider the pay given to men and women on shared parental leave

There was a flurry of excitement among employment lawyers following last month’s news that a father had won his sex discrimination claim against his employer in a case involving shared parental leave. Based on general press coverage of Snell v Network Rail [2016], it seemed that an employment tribunal in Scotland had given the first judgment which could be of use to employers and their advisers when considering whether to enhance shared parental leave pay. However, not all was as it first seemed.

New rules require banks and other financial institutions to put extra procedures in place encouraging staff to report concerns about the business, report Nick Howard and Ben Wright

In October 2015, regulators proposed a package of measures to formalise financial firms’ whistleblowing procedures. The measures were contained in a supervisory statement (SS39/15) and a policy statement (PS15/24) issued by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). PS15/24 attached new rules to be included in the Senior management arrangements systems and controls sourcebook and the Prudential sourcebook for investment firms. While affected firms have until 7 September 2016 to comply with most of the new rules, 7 March 2016 was the deadline for appointing a whistleblowers’ champion.

Legislation passed just before Parliament was dissolved ahead of the general election contains a number of important employment law provisions, reports Lauren Pullen-Stanley

After much debate, the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (the Act) received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015. The Act received cross-party support during its passage through Parliament. It covers a number of legislative reforms, many of which are aimed at enhancing the transparency of UK companies and increasing trust in the UK as a place to do business and invest. Of particular interest to employers is Part 11 of the Act, which contains a number of employment law reforms on various topics.

Instant dismissal is rarely the best way forward for an employer that suspects an employee of fraud or wrongdoing; procedure is key, warns Catrina Smith

As the UK workplace becomes more regulated, employers face a growing range of issues when dealing with employees who may be involved in fraud or misconduct. This involves not only considering the employment relationship but also the issues that may arise when third parties, such as regulators, are involved. This article will consider some of those issues.

Catrina Smith and Kennedy Masterton-Smith consider UK and EU proposals to curb pay in the financial sector

There is a widely held perception that the global economic crisis was, at least partly, the result of bankers receiving large bonuses incentivising them to take excessive and imprudent risks. While the causes of the financial crisis are many and complex, pressure has been put on governments and regulatory bodies to take steps to curb what were regarded as being inappropriate remuneration structures within banks and more broadly.

John Challoner and Kristy Cooper review the new rules in relation to claims for capital allowances on fixtures transferred as part of a property

When enacted, the Finance Act 2012 will amend the rules in relation to claiming capital allowances on fixtures for capital expenditure incurred on or after 1 April 2012 (for companies) or 6 April 2012 (for individuals).

Half of employers believe that the abolition of a fixed retirement age will have a negative impact on their business, reports Paul Griffin

According to a research report by employment lawyers at Norton Rose LLP, scrapping the default retirement age (DRA) in the UK could lead to a reduction in opportunities for younger workers. More than one in five employers confirmed that they expect to have less capacity to take on younger members of staff. The findings come as a further blow to the nation’s younger workers following the current rise in youth unemployment.

Nigel Hewitson provides a brief summary of the changes effected by the new 2011 EIA Regulations and highlights some of the more important EIA cases from 2010 and 2011

The last couple of years have been busy ones for practitioners who need to keep up to speed with the law governing environmental impact assessment (EIA). Aside from revised Regulations (the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011), which came into force on 24 August 2011, there have been a number of important cases in the courts covering a number of EIA-related matters – in particular, the issuing of screening opinions.

Dr Totis Kotsonis examines the remedies regime and considers the question of how effective this really is

For a long time, the remedies system applicable in the event of a breach of public procurement legislation in the UK was subject to some important limitations. For example, it used to be the case that once a contract was concluded it could not normally be set aside, so the only remedy available to an aggrieved party was that of damages. However, not only were damages generally seen as a less satisfactory remedy, they also proved very hard for an aggrieved party to obtain – a reflection of the difficulty in practice of demonstrating to the court that the procurement breach actually caused loss to the claimant. The introduction of a new remedies regime in December 2009 was designed to address this type of shortcomings.

Caroline May provides an overview of the proposed amendments designed to simplify the CRC

On 30 June 2011, proposed amendments to the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (formerly the Carbon Reduction Commitment) were published by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), to make the CRC ‘simpler, easier and more straightforward’.

Alasdair Thomas reviews the findings on appeal of a case involving a business tenant who, by acquiring a part of the freehold reversion to its lease, was able to prevent the other freeholders from terminating the lease

In the recent case of BOH Ltd & anor v Eastern Power Networks plc (formerly EDF Energy Networks (EPN) plc) [2011], the Court of Appeal considered the intriguing possibility that a business tenant can, by acquiring part of the freehold reversion to its lease, prevent the other reversioners (in this case the other landlords under the lease) from serving a section 25 notice on the tenant to terminate the lease and ultimately obtain possession pursuant to s30(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.