Overview

Our ESG timeline sets out recent and expected UK and EU legal and regulatory developments relating to ESG and wider sustainable business topics. The timeline can be filtered according to your business type or the relevant ESG theme.

We intend to update the timeline quarterly. The last update was in March 2022. 

Now Reading

Timeline by business type

  • UK premium-listed companies subject to TCFD disclosure requirements


    TCFD – climate-related disclosure requirements apply to commercial companies with a UK premium listing for accounting periods beginning on or after 01/01/2021: see our briefing on the consultation on mandatory climate reporting.

    In scope: UK premium-listed companies

    Theme: ESG

  • A UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) replaced the UK’s participation in the EU ETS


    In scope: Stationary installations holding (or liable to hold): (i) a greenhouse gas emissions permit, including power generators; certain large industrial premises and manufacturers, including food processing plants; certain public sector facilities; and (ii) an excluded installation emissions permit (small emitters and hospitals)

    Theme: Climate change, environment and resources 

  • New immigration regime takes effect


    New immigration regime: free movement for nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland ended and the new immigration regime took effect. Non-British/Irish nationals not covered by the UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement generally require visas for all but short-term visits to the UK, and no longer have an automatic right to work.

    In scope: All business organisations with EEA and/or Swiss workers subject to immigration rules.

    Theme: People

  • DAC6 - start of "30-day window"


    Start of the "30 day" window for making the first reports under the new DAC6 regime. The deadline for reports was delayed as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Under the regime, intermediaries or, in some cases, taxpayers themselves, are required to report cross-border arrangements which satisfy certain hallmarks.

    [Note: Following Brexit, scope of reporting in UK now restricted to disclosure of limited situations concerning the automatic exchange of information and beneficial ownership. DAC 6 expected to be replaced in Summer 2022 by a similar regime, based on the OECD's mandatory disclosure rules under BEPS Action 12 (see below)]

    In scope: All business organisations

    Theme: Tax

  • EU Conflict Minerals Regulation (which applies to importers of certain minerals) in force


    In scope: Business organisations importing any "conflict minerals" (tin, tantalum and tungsten and their ores, and gold, so-called "3TG" minerals)

    Theme: Climate change, environment and resources

  • Closure of EC consultation on sustainable corporate governance


    Closure of the European Commission consultation on a potential EU-wide initiative on sustainable corporate governance.

    In scope: All business organisations

    Theme: ESG

  • Pensions Climate Risk Industry Group guidance on TCFD disclosures published


    Non-statutory guidance for occupational pension scheme trustees on assessing, managing and reporting climate-related risks in line with the TCFD (Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures) was published by the Pensions Climate Risk Industry Group.

    In scope: Pension scheme trustees

    Theme: ESG

  • SFDR – majority of disclosure obligations apply to in-scope entities


    Disclosure Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 – key applicable date for sustainability-related disclosures in the financial sector ("SFDR"): The majority of the disclosure obligations apply: sustainability-related disclosures on the website for in-scope entities and in relevant pre-contractual information for products in market (additional disclosure requirements for larger in scope participants required from 30 June 2021).

    In scope: Banks, investment firms, asset managers, insurers

    Theme: ESG

  • SECR reporting required for financial years ending on or after 31 Dec 2020


    Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting ("SECR") – latest year-end date for in scope entities to include SECR reporting in annual reports.

    In scope: All quoted companies

    Qualifying conditions:

    • Turnover greater than or equal to £36m
    • Balance sheet or assets greater than or equal to £18m
    • Number of employees greater than or equal to 250

    Theme: Climate change, environment and resources

  • New Off-Payroll Working Rules in force


    New off-payroll working rules come into force following delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    In scope: All public sector entities; Large and medium-sized businesses which meet 2 or more of the qualifying conditions

    Theme: Tax

  • Proposal for EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive to cover large companies and most listed companies


    Proposal for EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive to apply sustainability reporting requirements to all large companies and most listed companies.

    In scope:

    Larger non-listed companies (i.e. any non-listed company which is not an SME under the Accounting Directive); Listed SMEs* (except micro-enterprises)

    [*Note: other listed companies are already subject to equivalent requirements in the Non-Financial Reporting Directive]

    Theme: ESG

  • European Commission adopts Zero Pollution Action Plan


    European Commission adopted its "zero pollution action plan" (part of the EU Green Deal) with a view to promoting the protection of air, soil and water.

    In scope: All business organisations

    Theme: Climate change, environment and resources

  • Publication of statutory guidance for in scope pension scheme trustees on climate risk reporting


    Statutory guidance published by the Government on governance and reporting of climate change risk for in-scope occupational pension scheme trustees from 1 October 2021

    In scope: In scope pension scheme trustees

    Themes: ESG

  • Deadline for EEA and Swiss nationals covered by the withdrawal agreement between the UK and EU to apply for UK residence


    EU Settlement Scheme: deadline by which EEA and Swiss nationals covered by the withdrawal agreement between the UK and EU must apply for UK residence status.

    In scope: All business organisations with EEA and/or Swiss workers subject to immigration rules

    Theme: People

  • TCFD disclosures required of largest pension schemes


    TCFD – Since 1 October 2021, trustees of occupational pension schemes with £5billion+ in assets, authorised master trusts and collective money purchase schemes are required under Pension Schemes Act 2021 regulations to comply with enhanced climate-related governance requirements, with the first public disclosures to be made within seven months of the current scheme year end

    In scope: Occupational pension schemes (£5bn+) and authorised master trust and collective money purchase pension schemes

    Qualifying condition: Pension scheme assets >£5bn

    Theme: ESG

  • Gender Pay Gap Reporting deadline


    Gender Pay Reporting: extended deadline for third round of gender pay gap reporting (reporting for 2020 was suspended due to Covid-19). 2021 figures will include employees on furlough, for some of the calculations, which may skew results and require additional explanation.

    In scope: All businesses of a certain size

    Theme: People

  • Announcement of Sustainability Disclosure Requirements to apply to companies, financial institutions and occupational pension schemes - effective date TBC


    HM Treasury published Greening Finance: A Roadmap to Sustainable Investing, which sets out the Government's strategy to align the financial system with the UK's commitment to net zero.  New Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDR) will contain a requirement for companies, financial institutions and occupational pension schemes to make additional sustainability disclosures, which will expand upon the existing TCFD climate-related disclosures framework. A new UK Green Taxonomy is also proposed.

    In scope: Companies, some financial institutions, and occupational pension schemes

    Theme: ESG

  • UK hosted 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26)

    1 - 21 November 2021

    UK hosted the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow.

    In scope: All business organisations

    Theme: Climate change, environment and resources, ESG

  • UK Sustainability Regime: FCA proposals for Sustainability Disclosure Requirements and investment product labels


    UK Sustainability Regime: FCA published discussion paper (DP21/4) on Sustainability Disclosure Requirements and investment product labels.

    In scope: UK asset managers and certain FCA-regulated asset owners

    Theme: ESG

  • New Office for Environmental Protection took charge of UK environment matters

    November 2021

    A new environmental watchdog, the Office for Environmental Protection ("OEP") took over environmental governance matters from the European Commission and ECJ under the new Environment Act 2021.

    The OEP's stated principal objectives are to contribute to environmental protection and hold the UK Government to account on environmental commitments.

    The OEP is expected to be fully functioning in early 2022 on completion of the necessary Parliamentary approval process.

    In scope: All business organisations

    Themes: Climate change, environment and resources

  • Publication of Pensions Regulator guidance on governance and reporting of climate-related risks and opportunities for in-scope occupational pension schemes


    Guidance for trustees of in-scope occupational pension schemes on the governance and reporting of climate-related risks and opportunities published by the Pensions Regulator.

    In scope: In-scope pension scheme trustees

    Theme: ESG

  • Whistleblowing Directive in force


    Whistleblowing Directive: deadline for EU member states to bring into force legislation transposing new Whistleblowing Directive, which will require employers to have a whistleblowing policy, with large organisations required to comply first.

    In scope: All businesses of a certain size

     

    Theme: People

  • Closure of IFRS Foundation consultation on global sustainability standards


    Closure of IFRS Foundation consultation on the need for global sustainability standards.

    Note: In Nov 2021, the IFRS Foundation announced the formation of the International Sustainability Standards Board and consolidation of the existing Climate Disclosure Standards Board and Value reporting Foundation into the ISSB by June 2022.

    In scope: All business organisations

    Theme: ESG

  • Parker ethnic diversity target in force


    Parker ethnic diversity target: Target date for companies to meet the Parker Review aim of there being at least one director of colour on each FTSE 100 board.

    In scope: Listed companies – FTSE 100

    Theme: People

  • SFDR – periodic disclosure reporting requirements start to apply


    Disclosure Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 – key applicable dates for sustainability-related disclosures in the financial sector ("SFDR"): Periodic disclosure reporting requirements begin to apply.

    In scope: Banks, investment firms, asset managers, insurers

    Theme: ESG

  • EU Taxonomy Regulation reporting requirements on climate change mitigation and adaption to apply; additional reporting may apply for Arts 8 or 9 SFDR products


    EU Taxonomy Regulation – applicable date for the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment: delegated acts on climate change mitigation and adaption to apply. Additional reporting requirements may apply for Art 8 or 9 SFDR products.

    In scope: Financial markets participants, issuers of financial products and large public interest entities

    Theme: Climate change, environment and resources

  • EU Taxonomy Regulation – Delegated Regulation specifying content and presentation of Article 8 disclosures to apply


    EU Taxonomy Regulation – applicable date for the Delegated Regulation specifying content and presentation of information to be disclosed under Article 8.

    In scope: Certain large public interest entities meeting relevant size criteria

    Qualifying conditions:

    • Turnover greater than or equal to EUR40m
    • Balance sheet or assets greater than or equal to EUR20m
    • Number of employees greater than or equal to 500

    Theme: Climate change, environment and resources

  • UK TCFD disclosure requirements in force for larger asset managers and asset owners


    UK TCFD – largest UK-authorised asset managers and asset owners to make climate-related financial disclosures consistent with TCFD Recommendations and Recommended Disclosures.

    In scope: Largest UK-authorised asset managers and asset owners

    Qualifying condition: Balance sheet or assets: Asset managers with AuM >£50bn; Asset owners with in-scope assets of £25bn or more

    Theme: ESG

  • TCFD disclosures required of standard listed companies


    TCFD  – climate-related disclosure requirements apply to (i) issuers of standard listed shares other than equity shares and (ii) standard listed issuers of GDRs (in each case excluding investment entities and shell companies such as SPACs) for financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2022.

    In scope: Standard listed companies

    Theme: ESG

  • TCFD disclosures required of banks and insurers


    TCFD - Banks, building societies and insurance companies obliged to disclose (on a comply or explain basis) compliance with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

    In scope: Banks, building societies and insurance companies

    Theme: ESG

  • Competition law – draft EU guidelines on cooperation in pursuit of sustainability initiatives


    Draft revised Horizontal Guidelines published by the European Commission for consultation. These provide guidance on when co-operation between competitors in pursuit of sustainability objectives may be considered unlikely to raise EU competition law concerns.

    In scope: All business organisations

    Theme: ESG

  • TCFD disclosures required of large private and public companies and LLPs


    TCFD – larger private and public companies, and LLPs required to make disclosures aligned with TCFD (Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures) recommendations

    In scope: 

    • All UK companies that are currently required to produce a non-financial information statement (i.e. Main market companies with more than 500 employees and banking/ insurance companies with more than 500 employees)
    • AIM companies with more than 500 employees
    • Other UK companies with more than 500 employees and a turnover of more than £500m;
    • Large LLPs (which are not traded or banking LLP) with more than 500 employees and a turnover of more than £500m
    • Traded or banking LLPs with more than 500 employees.

    Qualifying conditions: See definition of In scope entities

    Theme: ESG

  • Tax returns filed after April 2022 may require disclosure of uncertain tax treatment

    April 2022

    Tax returns filed by large business organisations after this date will be required to take into account a new requirement to notify HMRC where the business has adopted an uncertain tax treatment. 

    In scope: Businesses whose UK turnover and/or balance sheet exceeds certain financial thresholds. There are some exceptions, e.g. collective investment schemes

    Qualifying conditions:

    • Turnover greater than or equal to £200m
    • Balance sheet or assets greater than or equal to £2bn 

    Theme: Tax

  • Implementing MDR in the UK

    Expected Summer 2022

    Regulations to come into force implementing in the UK the OECD's Model Mandatory Disclosure Rules for CRS Avoidance Arrangements and Opaque Offshore Structures (MDR).

    These regulations will replace the UK's similar DAC 6 rules currently in force (see above).

    In scope: All business organisations

    Theme: Tax

  • EU update on list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes expected

    October 2022

    EU update on list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes expected.  EU member states have introduced "defensive measures" which have adverse consequences for jurisdictions on the list. The list is updated twice a year.

    In scope: Entities in or affected by countries on the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes

    Theme: Tax

  • Government to set new air quality targets under Environment Act


    Deadline for the UK Government to set new air quality targets under the Environment Act.

    In scope: All business organisations

    Theme: ESG

  • New requirement for pension scheme trustees to calculate and report alignment with Paris Agreement


    Regulations are expected to require trustees of certain occupational pension schemes to calculate and disclose a portfolio alignment metric, setting out the extent to which scheme investments are aligned with the Paris Agreement.

    In scope: Occupational pension schemes that are, or become, subject to the requirement to make TCFD-aligned disclosures under the Climate Change Governance and Reporting Regulations

    Qualifying condition: Pension scheme assets >£1bn

    Theme: ESG

  • TCFD disclosures required of >£1bn pension schemes


    TCFD - Trustees of occupational pension schemes with £1billion+ in assets required under Pension Schemes Act 2021 regulations to comply with enhanced climate governance requirements from October 2022, with the first TCFD-aligned public disclosures to be made within seven months of scheme year end.

    In scope: Pension scheme trustees

    Qualifying condition: >£1bn pension scheme assets

    Theme: ESG

  • ESG disclosure requirements under EU Investment Firms Regulation to apply


    ESG disclosure requirements under EU Investment Firms Regulation to apply

    In scope: Larger investment firms

    Theme: ESG

  • SFDR - Additional reporting requirements may apply (adverse sustainability impacts disclosed at a financial 'product' level)


    Disclosure Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 – key applicable dates for sustainability-related disclosures in the financial sector ("SFDR"): Additional reporting requirements may apply (adverse sustainability impacts disclosed at a financial 'product' level)

    In scope: Banks, investment firms, asset managers, insurers

    Theme: ESG

  • EU Taxonomy Regulation - reporting requirements on four remaining environmental objectives to apply; additional reporting may apply for Arts 8 or 9 SFDR products


    EU Taxonomy Regulation – key applicable dates for the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment: delegated acts on four remaining environmental objectives to apply. Additional reporting requirements may apply for Art 8 or 9 SFDR products.

    In scope: Financial markets participants, issuers of financial products and large public interest entities

    Theme: Climate change, environment and resources

  • EU Taxonomy Regulation – Delegated Regulation specifying content and presentation of Article 8 – additional disclosures to apply


    EU Taxonomy Regulation: Additional requirements under Delegated Regulation specifying content and presentation of information to be disclosed under Article 8 apply

    In scope: Large non-financial public interest entities

    Theme: Climate change, environment and resources

  • SFDR – Regulatory Technical Standards due to apply


    Disclosure Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 –sustainability-related disclosures in the financial sector ("SFDR"): Regulatory Technical Standards supplementing the SFDR requirements due to apply.

    In scope: Banks, investment firms, asset managers, insurers

    Theme: ESG

  • Additional UK TCFD disclosure requirements in force for asset managers and owners, life and personal pension providers


    TCFD – UK-authorised asset managers and asset owners, life insurers and FCA-regulated pension providers with in-scope assets >£5bn to make climate-related financial disclosures consistent with TCFD Recommendations and Recommended Disclosures. Publication deadline 30/06/2024

    In scope: Additional UK-authorised asset managers and asset owners, life insurers and FCA-regulated personal pension providers

    Qualifying condition: AuM >£5bn

    Theme: ESG

  • MEES Regulation - Prohibition on letting commercial properties with an EPC rating of "F" or "G" force


    For commercial properties there will be a prohibition on continuing to let properties with an EPC rating of "F" or "G". Whilst there is no express obligation to bring relevant properties up to a compliant standard under the MEES Regulations, local authorities will have enforcement powers, including the ability to impose penalties.

    In scope: All business organisations

    Theme: ESG

  • Proposed implementation of draft EU directive on shell entities (with effect from 1 January 2024)


    Proposed implementation of a draft EU directive designed to tackle misuse of entities resident in EU member states that do not have sufficient substance. In scope entities subject to adverse tax consequences and increased information reporting requirements

    (Proposed to come into effect on 1 January 2024)

    In scope: Entities that are tax resident in an EU member state.

    For more detail please see our recent briefing on the shell entity directive which includes a flowchart to help businesses navigate the new rules and assess whether they are in scope

    Theme: Tax

  • Whistleblowing Directive to apply to small/medium private sector entities under UK law


    Whistleblowing Directive: national implementing legislation to apply to small/medium private sector entities.

    In scope: All business organisations of a certain size

    Theme: People

  • Target date for global implementation of BEPS Pillar One rules

    2023

    Target date for global implementation of the OECD's BEPS Pillar One rules. The rules will reallocate 25% of the profits in excess of 10% of revenue of a multinational enterprise (MNE) to market jurisdictions where the MNE has a substantial engagement in that market, regardless of whether it has a physical presence there.

    In scope: Extremely large MNEs. There are to be exclusions for extractives and regulated financial services

    Qualifying condition: Global turnover above €20bn (reducing to €10bn in no earlier than seven years) and profitability above 10%

    Theme: Tax

  • Target date for global implementation of most of the BEPS Pillar Two rules

    2023 (but some rules to come into effect in 2024)

    Target date for global implementation of most of the OECD's BEPS Pillar Two rules. The main plank of Pillar Two is the Global anti-Base Erosion rules (GloBE rules) which seek to establish a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15% for multinational enterprises (MNEs)

    In scope: Large MNEs. There are to be various exclusions, including for investment funds that are ultimate parent entities of an MNE group and pension funds (and any holding vehicles used by such funds).

    Qualifying condition: revenue >€750m

    Theme: Tax

  • EU Taxonomy Regulation – Delegated Regulation specifying content and presentation of Article 8 - additional disclosures to apply


    EU Taxonomy Regulation – Additional requirements under Delegated Regulation specifying content and presentation of information to be disclosed under Article 8 apply.

    In scope: Large financial public interest entities

    Theme: ESG

  • Possible application of EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive to large companies and most listed companies

    2024 (TBC)

    Possible application of EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive with sustainability reporting requirements to all large companies and most listed companies

    In scope: Larger non-listed companies (i.e. any non-listed company which is not an SME under the Accounting Directive); Listed SMEs* (except micro-enterprises)

    [*Note: larger listed companies are already subject to equivalent requirements under the Non-Financial Reporting Directive]

    Theme: ESG

  • TCFD governance and (later) disclosures may be required of smaller pension schemes

    Late 2024 or early 2025 TBC

    Smaller occupational pension schemes may become subject to TCFD governance and disclosure requirements. This is subject to a review in late 2023 and a consultation in 2024.

    In scope: Pension scheme trustees (subject to review)

    Theme: ESG

  • Parker ethnic diversity target for FTSE 250 in force


    Parker ethnic diversity target for FTSE 250: The target date for companies to meet the Parker Review aim of there being at least one director of colour on each FTSE 250 board.

    In scope: Listed companies – FTSE 250

    Theme: People

  • All rented non-domestic buildings must achieve EPC Band B, where cost-effective


    All rented non-domestic buildings must achieve EPC Band B, where cost-effective. This will involve introducing a performance-based rating scheme for large commercial and industrial buildings to provide investors and their tenants with more information on how to reduce energy consumption and lower both carbon emissions and energy bills.

    In scope: All business organisations

    Theme: ESG

  • Ethnicity Pay Reporting debate in UK Parliament

    Date TBC

    Ethnicity Pay Reporting: consultation on ethnicity pay gap reporting closed in November 2019. Parliament is set to debate mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting following a public petition. No date has been set.

    In scope: All businesses of a certain size

    Theme: People

  • Government to introduce due diligence requirements to prevent forests and natural areas from being converted illegally into agricultural land

    Date TBC

    Government to amend the Environment Act to introduce due diligence requirements for larger businesses to prevent forests and natural areas from being converted illegally into agricultural land.

    In scope: Larger businesses (based on turnover test to be confirmed) – subject to de minimis threshold for volume of commodity used

    Theme: Climate change, environment and resources

Timeline by ESG theme

  • UK premium-listed companies subject to TCFD disclosure requirements


    TCFD – climate-related disclosure requirements apply to commercial companies with a UK premium listing for accounting periods beginning on or after 01/01/2021: see our briefing on the consultation on mandatory climate reporting.

    In scope: UK premium-listed companies

  • A UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) replaced the UK’s participation in the EU ETS


    A UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) replaced the UK’s participation in the EU ETS.

    In scope: Stationary installations holding (or liable to hold): (i) a greenhouse gas emissions permit, including power generators; certain large industrial premises and manufacturers, including food processing plants; certain public sector facilities; and (ii) an excluded installation emissions permit (small emitters and hospitals)

  • New immigration regime takes effect


    New immigration regime: free movement for nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland ended and the new immigration regime took effect. Non-British/Irish nationals not covered by the UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement generally require visas for all but short-term visits to the UK, and no longer have an automatic right to work.

    In scope: All business organisations with EEA and/or Swiss workers subject to immigration rules.

  • DAC6 - start of "30-day window"


    Start of the "30 day" window for making the first reports under the new DAC6 regime. The deadline for reports was delayed as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Under the regime, intermediaries or, in some cases, taxpayers themselves, are required to report cross-border arrangements which satisfy certain hallmarks.

    [Note: Following Brexit, scope of reporting in UK now restricted to disclosure of limited situations concerning the automatic exchange of information and beneficial ownership. DAC 6 expected to be replaced in Summer 2022 by a similar regime, based on the OECD's mandatory disclosure rules under BEPS Action 12 (see below)]

    In scope: All business organisations

  • EU Conflict Minerals Regulation (which applies to importers of certain minerals) in force


    EU Conflict Minerals Regulation (which applies to importers of certain minerals) comes into force.

    In scope: Business organisations importing any "conflict minerals" (tin, tantalum and tungsten and their ores, and gold, so-called "3TG" minerals)

  • Closure of EC consultation on sustainable corporate governance


    Closure of the European Commission consultation on a potential EU-wide initiative on sustainable corporate governance.

    In scope: All business organisations

  • Pensions Climate Risk Industry Group guidance on TCFD disclosures published


    Non-statutory guidance for occupational pension scheme trustees on assessing, managing and reporting climate-related risks in line with the TCFD (Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures) was published by the Pensions Climate Risk Industry Group.

    In scope: Pension scheme trustees

  • SFDR – majority of disclosure obligations apply to in-scope entities


    Disclosure Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 – key applicable date for sustainability-related disclosures in the financial sector ("SFDR"): The majority of the disclosure obligations apply: sustainability-related disclosures on the website for in-scope entities and in relevant pre-contractual information for products in market (additional disclosure requirements for larger in scope participants required from 30 June 2021).

    In scope: Banks, investment firms, asset managers, insurers

  • SECR reporting required for financial years ending on or after 31 Dec 2020


    Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting ("SECR") – latest year-end date for in scope entities to include SECR reporting in annual reports.

    In scope: All quoted companies

    Qualifying conditions:

    • Turnover greater than or equal to £36m
    • Balance sheet or assets greater than or equal to £18m
    • Number of employees greater than or equal to 250
  • New Off-Payroll Working Rules in force


    New off-payroll working rules come into force following delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    In scope: All public sector entities; Large and medium-sized businesses which meet 2 or more of the qualifying conditions

  • Proposal for EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive to cover large companies and most listed companies


    Proposal for EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive to apply sustainability reporting requirements to all large companies and most listed companies.

    In scope:

    Larger non-listed companies (i.e. any non-listed company which is not an SME under the Accounting Directive); Listed SMEs* (except micro-enterprises)

    [*Note: other listed companies are already subject to equivalent requirements in the Non-Financial Reporting Directive]

  • European Commission adopts Zero Pollution Action Plan


    European Commission adopted its "zero pollution action plan" (part of the EU Green Deal) with a view to promoting the protection of air, soil and water.

    In scope: All business organisations

  • Publication of statutory guidance for in scope pension scheme trustees on climate risk reporting


    Statutory guidance published by the Government on governance and reporting of climate change risk for in-scope occupational pension scheme trustees from 1 October 2021

    In scope: In scope pension scheme trustees

  • Deadline for EEA and Swiss nationals covered by the withdrawal agreement between the UK and EU to apply for UK residence.


    EU Settlement Scheme: deadline by which EEA and Swiss nationals covered by the withdrawal agreement between the UK and EU must apply for UK residence status.

    In scope: All business organisations with EEA and/or Swiss workers subject to immigration rules

  • TCFD disclosures required of largest pension schemes


    TCFD – Since 1 October 2021, trustees of occupational pension schemes with £5billion+ in assets, authorised master trusts and collective money purchase schemes are required under Pension Schemes Act 2021 regulations to comply with enhanced climate-related governance requirements, with the first public disclosures to be made within seven months of the current scheme year end

    In scope: Occupational pension schemes (£5bn+) and authorised master trust and collective money purchase pension schemes

    Qualifying condition: Pension scheme assets >£5bn

  • Gender Pay Gap Reporting deadline


    Gender Pay Reporting: extended deadline for third round of gender pay gap reporting (reporting for 2020 was suspended due to Covid-19). 2021 figures will include employees on furlough, for some of the calculations, which may skew results and require additional explanation.

    In scope: All businesses of a certain size

  • Announcement of Sustainability Disclosure Requirements to apply to companies, financial institutions and occupational pension schemes - effective date TBC


    HM Treasury published Greening Finance: A Roadmap to Sustainable Investing, which sets out the Government's strategy to align the financial system with the UK's commitment to net zero.  New Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDR) will contain a requirement for companies, financial institutions and occupational pension schemes to make additional sustainability disclosures, which will expand upon the existing TCFD climate-related disclosures framework. A new UK Green Taxonomy is also proposed.

    In scope: Companies, some financial institutions, and occupational pension schemes

  • UK hosted 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26)


    UK hosted the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow.

    In scope: All business organisations

  • UK Sustainability Regime: FCA proposals for Sustainability Disclosure Requirements and investment product labels


    UK Sustainability Regime: FCA published discussion paper (DP21/4) on Sustainability Disclosure Requirements and investment product labels.

    In scope: UK asset managers and certain FCA-regulated asset owners

  • New Office for Environmental Protection took charge of UK environment matters

    November 2021

    A new environmental watchdog, the Office for Environmental Protection ("OEP") took over environmental governance matters from the European Commission and ECJ under the new Environment Act 2021.

    The OEP's stated principal objectives are to contribute to environmental protection and hold the UK Government to account on environmental commitments.

    The OEP is expected to be fully functioning in early 2022 on completion of the necessary Parliamentary approval process.

    In scope: All business organisations

  • Publication of Pensions Regulator guidance on governance and reporting of climate-related risks and opportunities for in-scope occupational pension schemes


    Guidance for trustees of in-scope occupational pension schemes on the governance and reporting of climate-related risks and opportunities published by the Pensions Regulator.

    In scope: In-scope pension scheme trustees

  • Whistleblowing Directive in force


    Whistleblowing Directive: deadline for EU member states to bring into force legislation transposing new Whistleblowing Directive, which will require employers to have a whistleblowing policy, with large organisations required to comply first.

    In scope: All businesses of a certain size

  • Closure of IFRS Foundation consultation on global sustainability standards


    Closure of IFRS Foundation consultation on the need for global sustainability standards.

    Note: In Nov 2021, the IFRS Foundation announced the formation of the International Sustainability Standards Board and consolidation of the existing Climate Disclosure Standards Board and Value reporting Foundation into the ISSB by June 2022.

    In scope: All business organisations

  • Parker ethnic diversity target in force


    Parker ethnic diversity target: Target date for companies to meet the Parker Review aim of there being at least one director of colour on each FTSE 100 board.

    In scope: Listed companies – FTSE 100

  • SFDR – periodic disclosure reporting requirements start to apply


    Disclosure Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 – key applicable dates for sustainability-related disclosures in the financial sector ("SFDR"): Periodic disclosure reporting requirements begin to apply.

    In scope: Banks, investment firms, asset managers, insurers

  • EU Taxonomy Regulation reporting requirements on climate change mitigation and adaption to apply; additional reporting may apply for Arts 8 or 9 SFDR products


    EU Taxonomy Regulation – applicable date for the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment: delegated acts on climate change mitigation and adaption to apply. Additional reporting requirements may apply for Art 8 or 9 SFDR products.

    In scope: Financial markets participants, issuers of financial products and large public interest entities

  • EU Taxonomy Regulation – Delegated Regulation specifying content and presentation of Article 8 disclosures to apply


    EU Taxonomy Regulation – applicable date for the Delegated Regulation specifying content and presentation of information to be disclosed under Article 8.

    In scope: Certain large public interest entities meeting relevant size criteria

    Qualifying conditions:

    • Turnover greater than or equal to EUR40m
    • Balance sheet or assets greater than or equal to EUR20m
    • Number of employees greater than or equal to 500
  • UK TCFD disclosure requirements in force for larger asset managers and asset owners


    UK TCFD – largest UK-authorised asset managers and asset owners to make climate-related financial disclosures consistent with TCFD Recommendations and Recommended Disclosures.

    In scope: Largest UK-authorised asset managers and asset owners

    Qualifying condition: Balance sheet or assets: Asset managers with AuM >£50bn; Asset owners with in-scope assets of £25bn or more

  • TCFD disclosures required of standard listed companies


    TCFD  – climate-related disclosure requirements apply to (i) issuers of standard listed shares other than equity shares and (ii) standard listed issuers of GDRs (in each case excluding investment entities and shell companies such as SPACs) for financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2022.

    In scope: Standard listed companies

  • TCFD disclosures required of banks and insurers


    TCFD - Banks, building societies and insurance companies obliged to disclose (on a comply or explain basis) compliance with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

    In scope: Banks, building societies and insurance companies

  • Competition law – draft EU guidelines on cooperation in pursuit of sustainability initiatives


    Draft revised Horizontal Guidelines published by the European Commission for consultation. These provide guidance on when co-operation between competitors in pursuit of sustainability objectives may be considered unlikely to raise EU competition law concerns. 

    In scope: All business organisations

  • TCFD disclosures required of large private and public companies and LLPs


    TCFD – larger private and public companies, and LLPs required to make disclosures aligned with TCFD (Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures) recommendations

    In scope: 

    • All UK companies that are currently required to produce a non-financial information statement (i.e. Main market companies with more than 500 employees and banking/ insurance companies with more than 500 employees)
    • AIM companies with more than 500 employees
    • Other UK companies with more than 500 employees and a turnover of more than £500m;
    • Large LLPs (which are not traded or banking LLP) with more than 500 employees and a turnover of more than £500m
    • Traded or banking LLPs with more than 500 employees.

    Qualifying conditions: See definition of In scope entities

  • Tax returns filed after April 2022 may require disclosure of uncertain tax treatment

    April 2022

    Tax returns filed by large business organisations after this date will be required to take into account a new requirement to notify HMRC where the business has adopted an uncertain tax treatment. 

    In scope: Businesses whose UK turnover and/or balance sheet exceeds certain financial thresholds. There are some exceptions, e.g. collective investment schemes

    Qualifying conditions:

    • Turnover greater than or equal to £200m
    • Balance sheet or assets greater than or equal to £2bn
  • Implementing MDR in the UK

    Expected Summer 2022

    Regulations to come into force implementing in the UK the OECD's Model Mandatory Disclosure Rules for CRS Avoidance Arrangements and Opaque Offshore Structures (MDR).

    These regulations will replace the UK's similar DAC 6 rules currently in force (see above).

    In scope: All business organisations

  • EU update on list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes expected

    October 2022

    EU update on list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes expected.  EU member states have introduced "defensive measures" which have adverse consequences for jurisdictions on the list. The list is updated twice a year.

    In scope: Entities in or affected by countries on the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes

  • Government to set new air quality targets under Environment Act


    Deadline for the UK Government to set new air quality targets under the Environment Act.

    In scope: All business organisations

  • New requirement for pension scheme trustees to calculate and report alignment with Paris Agreement


    Regulations are expected to require trustees of certain occupational pension schemes to calculate and disclose a portfolio alignment metric, setting out the extent to which scheme investments are aligned with the Paris Agreement.

    In scope: Occupational pension schemes that are, or become, subject to the requirement to make TCFD-aligned disclosures under the Climate Change Governance and Reporting Regulations

    Qualifying condition: Pension scheme assets >£1bn

  • TCFD disclosures required of >£1bn pension schemes


    TCFD - Trustees of occupational pension schemes with £1billion+ in assets required under Pension Schemes Act 2021 regulations to comply with enhanced climate governance requirements from October 2022, with the first TCFD-aligned public disclosures to be made within seven months of scheme year end.

    In scope: Pension scheme trustees

    Qualifying condition: >£1bn pension scheme assets

  • ESG disclosure requirements under EU Investment Firms Regulation to apply


    ESG disclosure requirements under EU Investment Firms Regulation to apply

    In scope: Larger investment firms

  • SFDR - Additional reporting requirements may apply (adverse sustainability impacts disclosed at a financial 'product' level)


    Disclosure Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 – key applicable dates for sustainability-related disclosures in the financial sector ("SFDR"): Additional reporting requirements may apply (adverse sustainability impacts disclosed at a financial 'product' level)

    In scope: Banks, investment firms, asset managers, insurers

  • EU Taxonomy Regulation - reporting requirements on four remaining environmental objectives to apply; additional reporting may apply for Arts 8 or 9 SFDR products


    EU Taxonomy Regulation – key applicable dates for the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment: delegated acts on four remaining environmental objectives to apply. Additional reporting requirements may apply for Art 8 or 9 SFDR products.

    In scope: Financial markets participants, issuers of financial products and large public interest entities

  • EU Taxonomy Regulation – Delegated Regulation specifying content and presentation of Article 8 – additional disclosures to apply


    EU Taxonomy Regulation: Additional requirements under Delegated Regulation specifying content and presentation of information to be disclosed under Article 8 apply

    In scope: Large non-financial public interest entities

  • SFDR – Regulatory Technical Standards due to apply


    Disclosure Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 –sustainability-related disclosures in the financial sector ("SFDR"): Regulatory Technical Standards supplementing the SFDR requirements due to apply.

    In scope: Banks, investment firms, asset managers, insurers

  • Additional UK TCFD disclosure requirements in force for asset managers and owners, life and personal pension providers


    TCFD – UK-authorised asset managers and asset owners, life insurers and FCA-regulated pension providers with in-scope assets >£5bn to make climate-related financial disclosures consistent with TCFD Recommendations and Recommended Disclosures. Publication deadline 30/06/2024

    In scope: Additional UK-authorised asset managers and asset owners, life insurers and FCA-regulated personal pension providers

    Qualifying condition: AuM >£5bn

  • MEES Regulation - Prohibition on letting commercial properties with an EPC rating of "F" or "G" force


    For commercial properties there will be a prohibition on continuing to let properties with an EPC rating of "F" or "G". Whilst there is no express obligation to bring relevant properties up to a compliant standard under the MEES Regulations, local authorities will have enforcement powers, including the ability to impose penalties.

    In scope: All business organisations

  • Proposed implementation of draft EU directive on shell entities (with effect from 1 January 2024)


    Proposed implementation of a draft EU directive designed to tackle misuse of entities resident in EU member states that do not have sufficient substance. In scope entities subject to adverse tax consequences and increased information reporting requirements

    (Proposed to come into effect on 1 January 2024)

    In scope: Entities that are tax resident in an EU member state.

    For more detail please see our recent briefing on the shell entity directive which includes a flowchart to help businesses navigate the new rules and assess whether they are in scope

  • Whistleblowing Directive to apply to small/medium private sector entities under UK law


    Whistleblowing Directive: national implementing legislation to apply to small/medium private sector entities.

    In scope: All business organisations of a certain size

  • Target date for global implementation of BEPS Pillar One rules

    2023

    Target date for global implementation of the OECD's BEPS Pillar One rules. The rules will reallocate 25% of the profits in excess of 10% of revenue of a multinational enterprise (MNE) to market jurisdictions where the MNE has a substantial engagement in that market, regardless of whether it has a physical presence there.

    In scope: Extremely large MNEs. There are to be exclusions for extractives and regulated financial services

    Qualifying condition: Global turnover above €20bn (reducing to €10bn in no earlier than seven years) and profitability above 10%

  • Target date for global implementation of most of the BEPS Pillar Two rules

    2023 (but some rules to come into effect in 2024)

    Target date for global implementation of most of the OECD's BEPS Pillar Two rules. The main plank of Pillar Two is the Global anti-Base Erosion rules (GloBE rules) which seek to establish a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15% for multinational enterprises (MNEs)

    In scope: Large MNEs. There are to be various exclusions, including for investment funds that are ultimate parent entities of an MNE group and pension funds (and any holding vehicles used by such funds).

    Qualifying condition: revenue >€750m

  • EU Taxonomy Regulation – Delegated Regulation specifying content and presentation of Article 8 - additional disclosures to apply


    EU Taxonomy Regulation – Additional requirements under Delegated Regulation specifying content and presentation of information to be disclosed under Article 8 apply.

    In scope: Large financial public interest entities

  • Possible application of EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive to large companies and most listed companies

    2024 (TBC)

    Possible application of EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive with sustainability reporting requirements to all large companies and most listed companies

    In scope: Larger non-listed companies (i.e. any non-listed company which is not an SME under the Accounting Directive); Listed SMEs* (except micro-enterprises)

    [*Note: larger listed companies are already subject to equivalent requirements under the Non-Financial Reporting Directive]

  • TCFD governance and (later) disclosures may be required of smaller pension schemes

    Late 2024 or early 2025 TBC

    Smaller occupational pension schemes may become subject to TCFD governance and disclosure requirements. This is subject to a review in late 2023 and a consultation in 2024.

    In scope: Pension scheme trustees (subject to review)

  • Parker ethnic diversity target for FTSE 250 in force


    Parker ethnic diversity target for FTSE 250: The target date for companies to meet the Parker Review aim of there being at least one director of colour on each FTSE 250 board.

    In scope: Listed companies – FTSE 250

  • All rented non-domestic buildings must achieve EPC Band B, where cost-effective


    All rented non-domestic buildings must achieve EPC Band B, where cost-effective. This will involve introducing a performance-based rating scheme for large commercial and industrial buildings to provide investors and their tenants with more information on how to reduce energy consumption and lower both carbon emissions and energy bills.

    In scope: All business organisations

  • Ethnicity Pay Reporting debate in UK Parliament

    Date TBC

    Ethnicity Pay Reporting: consultation on ethnicity pay gap reporting closed in November 2019. Parliament is set to debate mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting following a public petition. No date has been set.

    In scope: All businesses of a certain size

  • Government to introduce due diligence requirements to prevent forests and natural areas from being converted illegally into agricultural land

    Date TBC

    Government to amend the Environment Act to introduce due diligence requirements for larger businesses to prevent forests and natural areas from being converted illegally into agricultural land.

    In scope: Larger businesses (based on turnover test to be confirmed) – subject to de minimis threshold for volume of commodity used

Get in touch

For more information on People issues please contact Ed Mills.

For more information on Sustainable Finance issues, please contact Tim Lewis, Phil Bartram, Michael Raymond, Simon WitneyGeorge Weavil or Jonathan Gilmour.

For more information on Environment and Climate issues, please contact Doug Bryden.

For more information on Tax issues, please contact Madeline Gowlett or Hannah Manning.

For more information on Pensions issues, please contact Andy Lewis.

For more information on Governance issues, please contact Neal Watson or Doug Bryden.

For more information on Real Estate issues, please contact Alex Millar.

Key contacts

Read Doug Bryden Profile
Doug Bryden
Read Jonathan Gilmour Profile
Jonathan Gilmour
Read Tim Lewis Profile
Tim Lewis
Read Ed Mills Profile
Ed Mills
Read Neal Watson Profile
Neal  Watson
Read Simon Witney Profile
Simon Witney
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