2017 makes for an interesting year, with a raft of regulatory requirements coming into force, as well as the UK market reacting to major political changes.
Our Retail Risk Report, now in its third year, is a single point of reference to help retailers understand the legal and regulatory changes taking place in 2017 and beyond.
Our retail specialists also provide guidance to help you prepare for these changes and reduce the risk that they pose to your business.
With the 2017 General Election resulting in a hung parliament and Brexit negotiations underway, the UK's political and economic future remains uncertain.
Brexit will almost certainly have an impact on regulatory developments but our exit from the EU is not expected to take place until March 2019, and there is a possibility that exit negotiations will be extended beyond this deadline.
In the meantime, retailers must prepare for a number of major new EU laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation and the ePrivacy Directive. Both are expected to come into force in May 2018 and will have a significant impact on most retailers.
What else should retailers look out for? There is a great deal of emphasis being placed on transparency, with various regulations being enacted requiring businesses to report on payment practices, non-financial information and any gender pay gaps.
2017 has already seen the arrival of the Apprenticeship Levy, the taxation of salary sacrifice schemes, and an increase in the National Living Wage. These changes will have a profound impact on the relationships between employers and employees, with serious risks for non-compliance.
There will also be changes that impact on retailers' property estates, with the introduction of regulations that restrict landlords from granting a new tenancy of premises with an EPC rating of below E. This change will also impact on retailers looking to sublet premises.
With so many changes on the horizon, we hope that you find this report helpful in planning for the years ahead. If you have any questions about these changes or would like help in preparing for them then please do get in touch.