REUTERS | Mike Segar
REUTERS | Mike Segar

The Brexit transition period will end at 11.00 pm on 31 December 2020. In addition, England’s 28-day lockdown ends on 2 December 2020, and the majority of the upcoming changes to the immigration rules will take effect on 1 December 2020.

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In the past week the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) released its long-awaited recommendations on supplementary measures for data transfers (Recommendations) following the decision of the CJEU on 16 July 2020 in ‘Schrems II’ (Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook Ireland Limited Case C-311/18). On the following day, the European Commission issued equally long-awaited draft standard contractual clauses (New SCCs) for data transfers outside the European Economic Area (EEA), and a further set of SCCs for use in transfers within the EEA (EEA Controller-Processor SCCs). The Recommendations and both sets of SCCs are subject to short consultation periods, although the EDPB has said that its Recommendations take effect immediately. Continue reading

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COVID-19 and the upheaval surrounding it has overshadowed many other aspects of 2020, but has highlighted the importance of stress management and understanding the causes of stress.

While some of these causes recede while we are predominantly working from home (such as direct exposure to bullying and sexual harassment – a recognised issue in some legal workplaces), some remain unaffected or are even exacerbated. Working from home long-term also poses new challenges (I cover some of these in free-to-view Practical Law videos on self-leadership and legal team leadership during a pandemic).

Earlier in 2020, I worked with Practical Law to conduct a survey investigating the causes of stress in UK in-house lawyers. I wanted to test two hypotheses that I had formulated over the course of 15 years spent working with lawyers, namely that:

  • In-house law is a more stressful environment than law practised by lawyers in law firms (what I call “business law”), contrary to what is often believed.
  • There is a gender angle to the question of stress which has been ignored to-date, in that female lawyers are typically under more stress than their male counterparts, wherever they practise.

Comparing the results of this survey with those from previous surveys that focused on Swedish lawyers has been illuminating and challenges those hypotheses’ validity in the UK to some extent.

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REUTERS | Gloabl Creative Services (no copyright)

As the heady clamour of this summer’s exam results algorithm fiasco fades into the darkening evenings of UK winter, the recent proposals for an “Accountability for Algorithms Act” by the Institute for the Future of Work (IFOW) are pretty timely, to say the least.

The proposals, supported by an op-ed in The Times by David Davis MP, aim for “an overarching, principles-driven approach to put people at the heart of developing and taking responsibility for AI, ensuring it is designed and used in the public interest.” Continue reading

REUTERS | Maxim Shemetov

Further COVID-19 related restrictions were introduced in October and more restrictions on commercial activity during November are possible. The COVID-19 Job Support Scheme opens on 1 November 2020, while Brexit negotiations are also likely to continue throughout the month.

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REUTERS | Jorge Adorno

In February 2016 an 18-year-old cyclist, travelling at 18 mph on a fixed-wheel track bike with no front brakes, crashed into and killed a 44-year-old woman as she was crossing Old Street in London. The tragic accident exposed a potential gap in UK criminal law.

The offence of causing death by careless and dangerous driving applied only to “mechanically-propelled vehicles”, which excluded bicycles. The offence of “dangerous cycling” (without causing death or injury) covered only the manner of the cycling, unlike the dangerous driving offence, which covers both the manner of the driving and the state of the driven vehicle.

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REUTERS | Mike Blake

Life in the law can be fantastic; many individuals thrive in this fast-paced, high-pressure industry and are very successful and happy. However, that is the not the case for everyone. Lawyers and support staff regularly contact LawCare to talk about feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious and burnt out. We hear about long hours, demanding bosses, incivility from clients, a feeling of never being good enough or getting things done, and the constant dread of making a mistake.

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REUTERS | Louafi Larbi

2020 has been quite a year. Back in February, few of us could have imagined that we would be spending much of the year grounded – stranded even – at home. We are now living with constant concern for the health and livelihoods of our loved ones, friends and ourselves. The overriding feeling that we are not in control of events is a consistent source of stress and fatigue. Continue reading

REUTERS | Jason Lee

In August, the dean of Harvard’s school of public health, Michelle Williams, called on companies to appoint public health professionals to their boards and C-Suite to help manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which may hang over businesses for years to come. Does such a call apply to UK boardrooms, their structure and the responsibilities of UK non-executive directors (NEDs)?

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REUTERS | Dominic Ebenbichler

COVID-19 will continue to be at the top of the agenda in October. The reintroduction of measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus is expected to hit businesses in the hospitality sector particularly hard and there is no guarantee that further controls will be not be imposed in the future. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends on 31 October 2020 and will be succeeded by the Job Support Scheme from 1 November 2020.

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