The EHRC issued guidance for employers on making adjustments for menopausal women. But a Labour government has committed to doing even more, including statutory menopause leave

The UK is going to the polls on Thursday, July 4 in what is anticipated to be a defining election and projected to be a landslide victory for the opposition Labour Party. That could mean changes in many sectors, but for employers of women who are in or close to menopause, it is clear that they will need to implement new policies and procedures to stay in compliance.

It is not surprising: Menopausal women are the fastest-growing demographic in today’s workplace. In the UK alone, 60% of women have taken time off work due to menopause symptoms, 900,000 women have left their jobs due to menopause, and 67% of women with experience of menopausal symptoms say they have had a ‘mostly negative’ effect on them at work, according to data from CIPD. 

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Universities are entrusted with the care and education of their students, but recent events have sparked debates about what to do when the duty of care clashes with data protection. Viv Adams, ICO Parliament and Government Affairs team Principal Policy Adviser, said that under UK law, universities have the legal authority to share personal data in situations where there’s an urgent need to prevent harm: “University staff should do whatever is necessary and proportionate to protect someone’s life. Data protection law allows organisations to share personal data in an urgent or emergency situation, including to help them prevent loss of life or serious physical, emotional or mental harm.” This provision aims to enable institutions to intervene effectively in cases of potential loss of life or serious harm, whether physical, emotional, or mental.

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The UK’s latest attempts at tackling dirty money, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act (ECCTA), passed by the Conservative government in late 2023, did not come without criticism from Labour. Shadow Minister for Investment and Small Business Rushanara Ali attacked the legislation as it went through the House of Commons as not going far enough to tackle Labour’s view that the UK has become a money laundering haven.

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Labour politicians were critical of the Conservative government’s fraud strategy. How will they tackle the problem?

It’s official. The general election in the UK is on July 4. As we head into the campaign, there is one thing all parties agree on: There is an epidemic of fraud in the UK. 

Fraud accounts for over 40% of all crime in England and Wales and research indicates that there could be another 25% increase in these crimes in the coming years if there is no effort to shift the way they are investigated, prosecuted and prevented. Fraud is linked to organised crime and terrorism and is widely recognised as a national security as well as a criminal justice issue.

During debates in the Commons, senior Labour politician Margaret Hodge pointed out the “eye-watering” estimate that £350bn a year is lost through fraud and money laundering. Shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry criticised the Conservative government’s strategy for dealing with fraud stating that it “does not come anywhere close to what we need.”  

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The UK’s general election on 4 July is expected to deliver a landslide victory to the opposition Labour Party. One of their key pledges around corporate governance concerns closing the gender pay gap, and expanding the ability of other groups affected by pay disparities, such as ethnic minority workers and disabled workers, to bring equal pay claims.

What is the current law around equal pay?

Under the Equality Act 2010, which incorporated the Equal Pay Act 1970, if an employee’s contractual terms, such as those relating to pay, are less favourable than a colleague of a different gender doing equivalent work, such terms are automatically modified to be no less favourable. This would come after the result of an equal pay claim. Where an employer is in breach of the sex equality provisions, an employee can bring an equal pay claim to an employment tribunal under different rules than a standard discrimination claim. Successful equal pay rulings mean people can claim arrears of pay going back up to six years in England and Wales and five years in Scotland. 

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Despite the general election on 4 July, the UK is already going to get new sexual harassment laws. The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023 will come into force in October 2024.

The Worker Protection Act 2023 is not as strong as Labour had wanted, but it does place some new duties on employers regarding their sexual harassment prevention policies and practices.

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Wednesday 26 June 12PM UK

The UK is set to go to the polls on Thursday, July 4 in a seismic election which could see a significant shift in the next UK government’s regulatory priorities. 

Every sector could be impacted and every area of compliance is likely to be reviewed by the next government. From overhauls of financial services regulation, reviews of data protection law, closer alignment with EU regulations and an expansion of health and safety protections, the next parliament will see compliance at the centre of the regulatory agenda.

With everything from whistleblowing reform to overhauls of corporate governance, new employment rights like menopause leave and expanded equal pay rules, alongside crackdowns on tax evasion and expansion of the money laundering regulations, organisations large and small should prepare for the outcome of the general election.

Join our special 1-hour pre-election webinar on Wednesday 26 June at 12pm UK time for a detailed look at the likely priorities of the next UK government. Our compliance experts will unpick party manifestos and pre-election promises to help uncover what this election will mean for your organisation.

This webinar will cover:

  • What the main parties are pledging on key compliance areas 
  • Potential changes to legislation including the Equality Act, sexual harassment and employment rights 
  • Expected legislation on AML, bribery, sanctions, fraud and economic crime
  • Possible expansion of regulations around GDPR, AI and health and safety
  • Preparing your organisation for future regulatory changes and new requirements

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The international commodities trading company resolved a long-standing bribery case with the US DOJ 

Trafigura agreed to pay over $126 million to settle the US Department of Justice’s investigation into a case that involved employees and agents who wanted to secure business with Brazil’s state-owned and controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras). 

Between 2003 and 2014, Trafigura, which is headquartered in Switzerland, paid bribes to Petrobras officials in order to secure and maintain contracts with the oil company. Under the scheme, Trafigura, along with its co-conspirators, made illicit payments of up to 20 cents per barrel of oil products bought from or sold to Petrobras. The bribes were concealed in shell companies or funnelled through intermediaries who used offshore bank accounts to deliver cash to officials in Brazil. 

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The global software giant agreed to a settlement with the US Department of Justice that is one of the largest of its kind

SAP, the German-based company, was charged with bribing government officials around the world and agreed to pay over $235m in one of the largest bribery settlements.

The company along with co-conspirators bribed South African and Indonesian foreign officials, providing cash, political contributions and wire transfers, along with luxury goods purchased during shopping trips. The goal was to obtain advantages for SAP in connection with various contracts with South African departments and agencies including Eskom Holdings Limited, a South African state-owned and state-controlled energy company.

The company also bribed government officials in Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, and Azerbaijan through third-party intermediaries and consultants it employed who paid bribes to obtain business with public sector customers in these countries. 

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VinciWorks is giving away the Emergency Response package for all existing HE/FE clients

It’s a difficult time for universities and colleges. Campuses around the world have found themselves turned into the centre of wildcat protests. International instability has thrust growing numbers of higher and further education institutions into crisis mode as administrators worry about the futures of their students and institutions. 

Given recent events on campuses around the world, universities and colleges should be preparing emergency response plans. To support the higher and further education sector, VinciWorks are offering a free upgrade to our Emergency Response package for all HE/FE clients. 

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