Welcome to the October edition of our Retail & Consumer monthly news round-up. This newsletter focuses on key news and updates for retail and consumer-facing businesses around the world.

At the end of the newsletter, you can also find details of some of our upcoming events, which we think might be of interest to you and your team.

Please get in touch, or visit our webpage for more information about Bird & Bird's Retail & Consumer Group.

In this newsletter:


Brexit

Brexit and the EU Settlement Scheme

Brexit will have a major impact on EU nationals and their family members in the UK. The Government has introduced a plan to register over 3 million EU nationals living in the UK to protect their existing rights. In order to continue living and working in the UK after Brexit, EU nationals and their family members will need to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme.

We have prepared a booklet as a preliminary reference guide on the information available to us at this time.
Read more >

Brexit and product compliance: "no deal" scenario

In September 2018, the UK government published a series of notices explaining how product compliance regulations would apply if a deal is not struck between the UK and the EU on the terms of Brexit – a "no deal" scenario. Specifically, the UK government commented on how goods traded in accordance with the Mutual Recognition Principle and the EU New Approach Directives would be affected by a "no deal" Brexit.

We outline the implications of the main UK government notices on the impact of a "no deal" Brexit on product compliance regulation.
Read more >


Consumer Law

Australian consumer law: clicking "I agree" not always enough

In this article, Hamish Fraser and Emma Cameron consider what Australia's unfair contract regime means for consumers buying online and businesses who sell their products and services online.
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Cybersecurity

NISR: UK DSPs must register by November 1 2018

Some of you will be familiar with the NISR (Network and Information Systems Regulations), which came into force on 9 May this year and which have been designed to prevent critical national infrastructure of EU countries in case of a cyber attack. These regulations have largely been overlooked to date, as many organisations find themselves spending all of their time and money on dealing with GDPR. They impact two key categories of organisations: Operators of Essential Services (OESs) and Digital Service Providers (DSPs). A third category which is likely to be affected - to a lesser degree - is suppliers to these OESs and DSPs who have access to networks and information systems.
Read more >


Employment

Morrisons' vicarious liability for data breach upheld

The Court of Appeal dismissed the supermarket chain's appeal in the case of Various Claimants –v- Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC, where Morrisons had been held vicariously liable for the serious data breach caused by a former employee. We look at the decision and what it means for employers.
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Proposal to ensure and attract more qualified labour to Denmark

In his opening speech to the Parliament, the Prime Minister presented a proposal on how Danish companies may recruit more qualified labour to Denmark. The proposal i.a. involved the rule known as "the pay limit scheme" for which it was proposed to reduce the annual minimum income from DKK 417,793.60 to DKK 330,000 for a specific group of labour from third countries.
Read more >

The duty of loyalty

In Finland, all employers and employees are obliged to apply the principle of "duty of loyalty" throughout the employment relationship. Notwithstanding the lack of a clear legal definition of the duty of loyalty under the Finnish employment legislation, it is unquestionably a central principle governing employment relationships.
Read more >

Singapore Employment Act changes

Following announcements earlier this year that the Employment Act in Singapore will be expanded to cover all employees from April 2019, the Employment (Amendment) Bill, which sets out specific details of the upcoming statutory changes, was released on 2 October 2018. The changes are likely to have an impact on the following employment practices: terminating employees' employment, handling disciplinary action, administering statutory employee benefits, making and keeping of HR records, making allowable salary deductions and automatically transferring employees pursuant to business reorganisation.

You can download a summary of the key upcoming changes set out in the Bill here.


Energy

Corporate PPAs: an international perspective

Large corporations are continuing to set the agenda for the growth of renewable energy across the globe. Corporations globally purchased 5.4 gigawatts of clean power directly from generators in 2017 under a Corporate PPA. Corporate PPAs enable corporate consumers to procure renewable power directly from renewable generators, without necessarily being co-located, and allow both corporate consumers and generators to take advantage of a range of economic, reputational and sustainability benefits.

Bird & Bird has published an updated report for 2018 on international Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (Corporate PPAs). This report looks at the main drivers behind the growth of Corporate PPAs, the threats and opportunities relevant to their deployment and strategies for how they can be implemented, and provides an in-depth analysis on the market for them in key jurisdictions across Western and Eastern Europe, the Nordics and Asia-Pac.
Read more > 


Product Compliance

Above and beyond: key online retailers voluntarily commit to a 'Product Sagety Pledge'

The rapid growth of online marketplaces over the last two decades has increased the pressure on distributors of products to take greater responsibility for ensuring consumer safety. The recent commitment of four of the world's largest online retailers – Amazon, eBay, Alibaba and Rakuten-France – to accelerate the removal of dangerous and illegal non-food products from their platforms is the latest example of such pressure bearing fruit.
Read more >


Tax

UAE tourist VAT refund

The UAE Federal Tax Authority ("FTA") has announced that the first phase of the Tax Refund for Tourists Scheme (the "Scheme") will start on November 18, 2018. The first phase will see the digital system of the Scheme implemented at Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah International Airports. The system is expected to be fully operational at all airports and sea and land ports by mid-December. Tax invoices issued as of that date will qualify tourists to reclaim taxes incurred on their purchases. There are certain conditions that must be met by the tourist in order to qualify for a refund.
Read more > 


Events and Activities

Events

Employment Essentials (Part 8): Protecting confidential information and intellectual capital during and after employment
6 November, Hong Kong

Employment Essentials (Part 7): Managing IP rights and issues in employment contracts
7 November, Singapore

Sydney Lawyers Orchestra concert for armistice centenary
8 November, Sydney

InnoCarnival 2018 - InnoTalk: Smarter ways to obtain and protect your IP
11 November, Hong Kong 

Our News

Bird & Bird's Finnish team advised HYY Group on its acquisition of the historical Seurahuone building in Helsinki

Bird & Bird ranks among top 20 in Acritas' Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index

Bird & Bird wins at the 2018 Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Europe Awards

 

Authors