UK: Legal Issues For Those Running UK Construction Businesses - Spring 2018

Our spring 2018 round-up of articles written by colleagues in other UK practice areas highlights regulatory, housebuilding, planning, environmental and employment issues affecting construction businesses.

To find out more about these issues and their effect on your business, please contact one of the team listed under key contacts or your usual UK Construction team contact. To sign up for any of the seminars flagged up below, simply click on the link provided.

  • Regulatory: data protection (the GDPR in force from 25 May 2018)
  • Housebuilding
  • Planning issues
  • Environmental issues
  • Employment issues
  • Upcoming employment seminars

Regulatory: data protection (the GDPR in force from 25 May 2018)

GDPR: are you ready? (Seminar, London, 19 April 2018)

  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will apply in the UK and across Europe from 25 May 2018. On 19 April 2018, Nick Graham and Simon Elliott will explore the key practical areas, policies and procedures that you need to deploy now to minimise GDPR risk. This includes good practice on privacy notices, A30 records and recording relevant decisions, individual rights and vendor control. Click here to register.

GDPR deadline looms

  • Are your immigration data processes compliant? The introduction of the GDPR presents a huge challenge for employers in many data processing scenarios. With the implementation date of 25 May 2018 fast approaching, employers should consider their immigration data processes, which understandably deal with considerable personal data. Dentons' UK Head of Immigration, Jessica Pattinson, highlights a few common immigration scenarios that need to be dealt with from a GDPR perspective. (Click here.)
  • You can read Katie Lamb's article on "Is your Privacy Notice GDPR compliant?" here.


Residential leasehold: will good intentions lead to good law?

  • In 2017, the Department for Communities and Local Government launched a consultation on "Tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market". Emma Broad and Thomas Nolan review the government's response to the feedback from that consultation, outlining a number of significant proposals for reform of residential leasehold in England. Click here.

Planning issues

A reasoned approach (to planning decisions)

  • In September 2016, the Court of Appeal ruled that Dover District Council had failed to give legally adequate reasons for its decision, against the advice of its planning officers, to grant planning permission for a controversial development partly in an area of outstanding natural beauty (R (on the application of Campaign to Protect Rural England) v. Dover District Council [2016]). This was one of several recent cases that have dealt with, and have generated some uncertainty about, the duty to give reasons. Ralph Kellas, from Dentons' UK Planning team, explains the decision and the local authority's duty to give reasons in the light of recent case law. You can download his article here.

Neighbourhood plans v housing

  • As the need for housing gains increasing traction, to what extent are neighbourhood plans having to take a back seat? Six years after they were introduced by the Localism Act 2011, neighbourhood plans have surprised many commentators with both their level of take-up by communities and the importance afforded to them by the government. Lucy McDonnell takes a look at some recent decisions here.

Regulation change to allow LPAs to sell land with the benefit of planning permission granted to themselves

  • As of 23 February 2018, a local planning authority (LPA) can now grant itself planning permission and sell the relevant land with the benefit of that planning permission. This small statutory change has the potential to significantly bolster the role of LPAs in facilitating development and ensuring that it is comprehensively planned. Ralph Kellas explains more here.

Environmental issues

Environmental laws after Brexit

  • The UK's environmental laws rely heavily on EU legislation. Helen Bowdren recently wrote an article for the Estates Gazette in which she looked at what shape our environmental laws might take after Brexit – and what that would mean for the real estate sector: "Seizing the environmental moment". (There is a pay wall to access this article.)

Who GOVErns Planning?

  • Michael Gove has published a 25-year plan to improve the environment. It is wide-ranging, comprehensive and aspirational. If delivered, the plan aims for us to leave the environment a better place than we found it. Stephen Ashworth explains here.

Employment issues

Employment Tribunals – Historic increase in Tribunal claims since fees abolished

  • Tribunal claims have risen by 90 per cent following the abolition of Tribunal fees in July 2017 by the Supreme Court in the case of R (on the application of UNISON) v. Lord Chancellor. Katie Lamb explains why here. (You can read our report on the UNISON case here: Supreme Court holds Employment Tribunal fees unlawful.)

Brexit immigration update: agreement reached on the transition period

  • The EU and the UK held a joint press conference on 21 March 2018 to announce their agreement on a number of key areas in the Brexit negotiations. Most notably for employers in the UK, the length of the transition period has been agreed, as well as key features of the process and timing for EU nationals in the UK to apply for residence documentation. This latest announcement gives employers the certainty they need to start planning for the Brexit transition, including supporting their employees through the application process for residence documentation. For more information, click here.

Upcoming employment seminars

Immigration issues arising out of Brexit (and how to prepare)

  • In June 2018, we will be hosting a seminar on the immigration issues arising out of Brexit (and how to prepare) for the benefit of our construction industry clients and contacts. To register your interest in attending that event, please contact one of the team listed under key contacts or Jessica Pattinson.

Annual update on developments affecting your workforce

  • Dentons' People, Reward and Mobility team is giving its annual update seminar at various locations throughout May 2018. This seminar will bring you up to date with the latest key developments affecting your workforce. The team will review: the top employment cases for 2017 and 2018, legislative changes, key changes in pensions and other employee reward schemes and the latest implications from Brexit on immigration matters and diversity and inclusion. The team will also deal with what #MeToo means for your business and gender pay gap reporting, a year into the regime. Click here to book your place.

Mock Employment Tribunal

  • The team is holding a Mock Employment Tribunal in October 2018. For more details and to book your place, click here.

Dentons is the world's first polycentric global law firm. A top 20 firm on the Acritas 2015 Global Elite Brand Index, the Firm is committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent and uncompromising quality and value in new and inventive ways. Driven to provide clients a competitive edge, and connected to the communities where its clients want to do business, Dentons knows that understanding local cultures is crucial to successfully completing a deal, resolving a dispute or solving a business challenge. Now the world's largest law firm, Dentons' global team builds agile, tailored solutions to meet the local, national and global needs of private and public clients of any size in more than 125 locations serving 50-plus countries.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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