Retail & Consumer Horizon Scanner 2022

This horizon scanner provides clarity on what legal and regulatory changes lie ahead for retail and consumer businesses so that you can plot your course with confidence into 2022 and beyond.

Times are tough enough without the extra burden of not knowing what’s coming around the corner so this resource is for you and it's one that we'll make sure is up to date for you to refer back to throughout 2022.

We've identified eight key themes and over 30 issues across those areas that may impact your business throughout the next 12 months. These include everything from Supply chain and brand management to responsible retail.

  • Move through each quarter on our timeline to see they key dates and upcoming changes you need to know to support your business and plot your course.
  • Read the eight key themes below the timeline where you can click through to more in depth content for each area.

The horizon scanner

On 4 January 2022, legislation setting out the new UK regime for review of investments for the purposes of national security comes in to force.

The UK Ecodesign Regulation comes into force

Results of consultation on making right to request flexible working a day 1 right

  • Trocadero v Cineworld appeal to CoA decision expected February

From March 2022 new legal binding arbitration scheme will apply for pandemic rent arrears

The moratorium on forfeiture and restrictions on the use of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) regime is due to end on 25 March 2022

  • Government / RSM research concludes end March 2022 on how commercial landlords are treated in CVAs (company voluntary arrangements)

  • Restrictions on presenting of winding-up petitions are in place until 31 March 2022.

  • 4 April is gender pay gap reporting deadline for private companies with 250 or more staff. How will furlough impact calculations?

  • Calories Labelling Relations come into force.

Producers of plastic packaging made with less than 30% recycled materials will be taxed at a rate of £200 per tonne.

  • VAT on hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation rises to 20% (from 12.5%) (1 April 2022)
  • National Insurance contributions rise (5 April 2022)
  • Dividend Tax increases (5 April 2022)

If revitalised could prompt a host of changes to enhance redundancy protections for pregnant women and new parents, neonatal leave, unpaid carers leave, right to request predictable contracts for zero hours workers, and new rules around tipping.

The FCA has consulted on proposed new requirements for listed companies to report on the gender and ethnic diversity of their boards. They seek to make relevant rules by early 2022.

It is predicted the CGT rates will rise in the short to medium term. Although it is not clear when, it is possible that this will happen in 2022. Alternatively, Annual Gains Exemption or CGT Reliefs may be reduced.

New duty for employers proposed and EHRC Code but date still to be confirmed. A duty to prevent third party harassment is also to be introduced.

Draft Health and Care Bill scheduled includes measures to ban advertising for specified high fat, salt and sugar (SHFSS) foods before 21:00 on TV and at all times online. To come into force at the end of 2022.

Key themes

To meet minimum energy efficiency standards proposed for 2030, 83% of retail stock will need to be improved. Landlord, tenant and contractor relationships could be strained. Customers demand innovative retail experiences and new infrastructure like EV charging points to entice them back to physical stores.

The pandemic has been a challenging experience for retail workers. Supply chain and talent shortages could strain customer/employee/employer relationships further. Employee motivation and reward will be key.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) is a high priority for retailers, and leaders must set the tone from the top. Culture, purpose and sustainability are the watch words. Brand integrity and share of consumer wallet increasingly intertwined.

As consumers become more aware of their rights and digital court processes make justice more accessible, retailers could face mass consumer actions or small claims.

As the pandemic continues, retailers will revisit financial strategy – for some it may mean expansion and investment, for others mitigating the impacts of a challenging two years. The role of green finance is set to increase.

The pandemic has moved more consumer spend online. Retailers must secure and transform their operations to ensure resilience but also harness new opportunities. Effective supply chains and fulfilment are pre-requisites. Innovation, investment in new technologies and partnerships will deliver the wow factor. AI, VR, augmented reality and Robotics will all play a part behind the scenes and front of house. Preparations for a post-cookie world will gather momentum to ensure personalised experiences can still be delivered.

To meet minimum energy efficiency standards proposed for 2030, 83% of retail stock will need to be improved. Landlord, tenant and contractor relationships could be strained. Customers demand innovative retail experiences and new infrastructure like EV charging points to entice them back to physical stores.

The pandemic has been a challenging experience for retail workers. Supply chain and talent shortages could strain customer/employee/employer relationships further. Employee motivation and reward will be key.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) is a high priority for retailers, and leaders must set the tone from the top. Culture, purpose and sustainability are the watch words. Brand integrity and share of consumer wallet increasingly intertwined.

As consumers become more aware of their rights and digital court processes make justice more accessible, retailers could face mass consumer actions or small claims.

As the pandemic continues, retailers will revisit financial strategy – for some it may mean expansion and investment, for others mitigating the impacts of a challenging two years. The role of green finance is set to increase.

The pandemic has moved more consumer spend online. Retailers must secure and transform their operations to ensure resilience but also harness new opportunities. Effective supply chains and fulfilment are pre-requisites. Innovation, investment in new technologies and partnerships will deliver the wow factor. AI, VR, augmented reality and Robotics will all play a part behind the scenes and front of house. Preparations for a post-cookie world will gather momentum to ensure personalised experiences can still be delivered.

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