United Kingdom: Updated OECD guidance on tax treaties and COVID-19

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On 21 January 2021, the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) published updated guidance on tax treaties and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, originally issued by the Secretariat in April 2020. The OECD's guidance reflects the Secretariat's views on the interpretations of the tax treaties and the general approach being taken by member jurisdictions, and illustrates how certain jurisdictions have addressed the impact of the pandemic on the tax situations of individuals and employers. The OECD states that the updated guidance is intended to provide greater certainty to taxpayers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

United Kingdom: Black Lives Matter – What 2021 and beyond looks like for employers

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In brief The Black Lives Matter movement, accelerated by the murder of George Floyd, sparked a global awakening to racial disparities in society. Impassioned protests...

United Kingdom: COVID-19 – Equality law in the provision of goods and services

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The COVID-19 crisis has brought into focus the obligations of service providers towards customers with disabilities. In particular, there were reports of some retailers failing to recognise legitimate exceptions to rules regarding wearing face coverings and/or handling enquiries about exemptions with a lack of sensitivity. The issue of "hidden disabilities" became particularly significant in that context. Heavy reliance on online service channels highlighted the importance of ensuring that those services were fully accessible to customers with a range of disabilities, particularly as those channels were tested by a sudden uptick in demand. Older customers and customers with disabilities who relied on online shopping and in-store assistance found that they could not access the same level of support. Reconfiguration of store access to facilitate social distancing required retailers to re-assess whether those arrangements created difficulties for those with mobility and other impairments. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) issued some helpful guidance to retailers in response to some of the issues that had arisen.

United States and United Kingdom: What will Biden’s presidency mean for ESG?

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Biden has indicated prioritizing climate change - and he moved fast by signing an executive order to have the US re-enter the Paris climate accord on the day of his inauguration. He has stated that such prioritisation is also about creating new jobs and spurring economic growth. He has plans to push through major infrastructure projects, boost the auto industry in its quest to build low-emissions vehicles, help move the power sector toward renewables, and encourage innovation in energy technologies. The expectation is that there will be climate change regulatory initiatives and expanded ESG reporting and disclosure efforts that may affect the direction and pace of the US energy transition. In this session, our panel shared their insights on what this might mean for business both in the US and more globally as Biden seeks to have the United States re-engage on the world stage. We were joined by Global Torch Light.

United Kingdom: Covid-19 – Equality law in the provision of goods and services

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The COVID-19 crisis has brought into focus the obligations of service providers towards customers with disabilities. In particular, there were reports of some retailers failing to recognise legitimate exceptions to rules regarding wearing face coverings and/or handling enquiries about exemptions with a lack of sensitivity. The issue of "hidden disabilities" became particularly significant in that context. Heavy reliance on online service channels highlighted the importance of ensuring that those services were fully accessible to customers with a range of disabilities, particularly as those channels were tested by a sudden uptick in demand. Older customers and customers with disabilities who relied on online shopping and in-store assistance found that they could not access the same level of support. Reconfiguration of store access to facilitate social distancing required retailers to re-assess whether those arrangements created difficulties for those with mobility and other impairments. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) issued some helpful guidance to retailers in response to some of the issues that had arisen.

United Kingdom: The NHS’s new data sharing agreement

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NHSX has published a new data sharing agreement (DSA) template. The template is a great tool for companies collaborating with NHS organizations to access and use data for R&D, and for companies who access and use data as part of their provision of services to the NHS.

United Kingdom: Guidance on accessing and using NHS data – six key takeaways

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NHSX recently launched a brand new information governance portal providing a 'one-stop shop' for NHS policies and guidance. The new portal covers everything from GDPR in research to record management. But even with the new portal, navigating NHS guidance on data isn't easy.

United Kingdom: Canada-UK Trade Agreement Struck

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The Canada-United Kingdom Trade Continuity Agreement (Canada-UK TCA) replicates the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) on a bilateral basis. The Canada-UK TCA (signed December 2020) came into force from 1 January 2021 and aims to maintain the status quo in the trade relationship. 

United Kingdom: Impact of the EU-UK Trade Cooperation Agreement and Northern Ireland Protocol on...

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Following four and a half years of often acrimonious negotiations and numerous build ups to a no-deal situation, the EU-UK TCA represents a positive step. While the deal is relatively thin and offers only discrete regulatory reciprocity, overall the TCA is a welcome development in the face of apparent near- political failure to agree on a way forward between the two sides. The life sciences sector has been preparing for no-deal amidst the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, throughout 2020, and having a deal, however slim, is positive for the sector in providing more fertile political ground for future harmonisation and cooperation

United Kingdom: COVID-19 – Equality law in the provision of goods and services

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The COVID-19 crisis has brought into focus the obligations of service providers towards customers with disabilities. In particular, there were reports of some retailers failing to recognise legitimate exceptions to rules regarding wearing face coverings and/or handling enquiries about exemptions with a lack of sensitivity. The issue of "hidden disabilities" became particularly significant in that context. Heavy reliance on online service channels highlighted the importance of ensuring that those services were fully accessible to customers with a range of disabilities, particularly as those channels were tested by a sudden uptick in demand. Older customers and customers with disabilities who relied on online shopping and in-store assistance found that they could not access the same level of support. Reconfiguration of store access to facilitate social distancing required retailers to re-assess whether those arrangements created difficulties for those with mobility and other impairments. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) issued some helpful guidance to retailers in response to some of the issues that had arisen.
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