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At COP 27 in November 2022, South Africa launched its new Just Energy Transition Investment Plan and announced a five-year investment plan for the USD 8.5 billion financing package, which was announced as part of the country’s Just Energy Transition Partnership with France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union at COP 26. The JET IP is aligned with the Cabinet-approved National Just Transition Framework and outlines the investments required to achieve the country’s decarbonization commitments, while promoting sustainable development, and ensuring a just transition for affected workers and communities.

This edition of the “Working with Unions” bulletin covers the period of April to September 2022 and includes: (i) the decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal in INEOS Infrastructure Grangemouth Limited v Jones & Others and INEOS Chemicals Grangemouth Limited v Arnott & Others, clarifying the scope of the unlawful inducements in collective bargaining provisions under section 145B of the Trade Unions and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act following last year’s Supreme Court decision of Kostal v Dunkley, and (ii) the Court of Appeal’s decision in USDAW and others v Tesco Stores Ltd which reversed the High Court’s decision to grant an injunction preventing the employer from dismissal and reengagement.

The EU legislators aim to promote more transparent and predictable employment, while ensuring labor market adaptability. To reach this goal, the EU directive on transparent and predictable working conditions and its implementation law impose certain information obligations on employers, and also lay down new minimum standards regarding working conditions that have to be guaranteed. In the case of noncompliance, sanctions (up to level 3) can be imposed.

The UK government has announced that the implementation of the future UK Medical Device Regulations will be pushed back from 1 July 2023 to 1 July 2024. The MHRA’s announcement means that CE-marked products will continue to be accepted in Great Britain and manufacturers will only be required to obtain a UK Conformity Assessed mark from July 2024. As a result, this extension will provide manufacturers an extra year to ensure that their products are compliant with the new UK regime.

In October 2022, the Council of the EU published the long-awaited compromise text of the proposed Regulation on Markets in Cryptoassets (MiCA), a “landmark regulation” that, according to the Council, will “put an end to the crypto wild west”. Once in force, MiCA will establish the first comprehensive, pan-EU regulatory regime for the regulation of cryptoassets, including the regulation of (i) cryptoassets issuance activities and (ii) cryptoasset service providers (who will be held to similar regulatory standards to those imposed on investment firms).

The UK government has recently published its roadmap for regulating AI as a medical device (AIaMD) and software as a medical device (SaMD). This will form part of the basis of the upcoming UK Medical Device Regulation reforms in 2024. In light of the operational difficulties faced by the NHS, AIaMD and SaMD are attractive solutions to alleviate pressures on the UK health system. Yet these products are complex and require a high level of regulatory scrutiny to ensure effectiveness and protect the safety of patients.