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The year 2024 has started, on the one hand, with all the new legal developments approved during the last months of 2023 and that will have to be implemented in a mandatory manner; and on the other hand, with the calendar full of legal milestones and relevant dates in which new regulatory changes in different areas of law will arrive.
We review with our lawyers what are those key legal dates of 2024 that should not be lost sight of in companies to adapt their legal strategies and comply with all obligations.
Some of these dates and legal milestones are still to be finalized and we will have to keep an eye out for definitive dates to be established; others already have their day of departure set.
In this article we gather the main legal matters and dates for 2024 that our directors and partners in the areas of labor, insolvency and restructuring, banking and financial law and data protection and digital law recommend to follow closely.
Legal Milestones in 2024
1. Dates in the area of labor law
Jorge Sarazá, a partner in the labor area, predicts the most relevant legal milestones in this area:
- Implement protocols for the detection and prevention of harassment or violence against LGTBI people.
- Labour Inspection: more controls regarding equality plans and other obligations for companies.
- Gradual reduction of working days without loss of salary: up in the air.
- Implementation of the Complaints Channel in companies with more than 50 employees.
- The problem of the interpretation of the new leaves of absence after the approval of the Family Law.
- The contribution of interns as of January 1, 2024. Contribution for unpaid internships.
- Automation and artificial intelligence: implications in the labor market.
- Possible extension of paternity and maternity leave from 16 to 20 weeks.
- Increase of 5% in the maximum contribution base.
- Labor market adjustments following signs of economic slowdown.
In assessing these 2024 legal challenges, our labor lawyer, comments:
There is no doubt that 2024 presents new challenges and aspects that should not be neglected. Not only will we be faced with the need to comply with the new obligations established for companies (depending on their size and/or current situation), but we are also expectant of the economic slowdown announced by certain indicators and organisations. This may undoubtedly lead to business adjustments and flexibility measures.
On the other hand, society must face up to the situations that are being consolidated in the labour relations market, where the focus has been placed in these times. For example, equality plans and their correct execution and implementation, protocols related to the prevention of harassment and safe spaces, or measures related to the LGTBI collective.
Finally, the Courts and Tribunals will be setting down doctrine on recent issues that have arisen or developed in 2023, such as the Family Law, the new permits for reconciling work and family life or the working day.
2. Dates in the area of insolvency law
José Carlos González, partner of the insolvency and restructuring area, considers that these will be the most relevant legal milestones in insolvency matters:
- Approval of the Regulation of the Insolvency Administration.
- Decision of the CJEU on whether the Spanish second chance regime is in accordance with European legislation.
- Progressive increase in the use of new restructuring plans as a solution to business crisis situations, also in SMEs.
- In insolvency matters: Insolvency without assets and/or insolvency of individuals will continue to be key.
- Special procedure for micro-enterprises: effective implementation or will it continue to be the chronicle of a failure foretold?
- In restructuring matters: the resolution of challenges to the approval of certain plans will continue to set the path to be followed in the future (Single Home, Iberian, Vilaseca, etc.).
- New Proposal for a Directive on insolvency, to harmonize matters such as pre-pack, will it arrive on time or will it lapse with the end of the European legislature?
And this is how our expert assesses these milestones in insolvency law for 2024:
2024 is expected to be the year of consolidation of the new framework of pre-bankruptcy restructurings, with a very significant increase in the number of companies that will use restructuring plans as an effective solution to their financial difficulties, thus avoiding going into bankruptcy proceedings. With the rise in interest rates that will most likely continue for most of the year, making business financing more expensive, and a complicated economic environment of stagnation or recession, many companies of different sizes will need to restructure to ensure their viability, a circumstance that will also be favored by the greater legal certainty offered by the new legal framework thanks to the rulings that are gradually being issued (Xeldist, Celsa, Transbiaga, etc.) and which are setting the limits of what can and cannot be done within a restructuring plan.
In the strictly insolvency field, the publication and entry into force of the Insolvency Administration Regulations, which will foreseeably take place at the beginning of the year, will bring about a substantial change in the sector, which may mean its true professionalization or, on the contrary, the final blow to a profession already seriously threatened by the latest reforms of the Insolvency Law. The draft that was made public in October does not exactly invite optimism.
3. Dates in the area of banking and financial law
José Ramón Couso, partner expert in banking law, marks these legal milestones for 2024 on the calendar:
- Technical regulatory development of the MiCA Regulation and obligations for issuers and service providers of cryptoassets.
- New Law on Financial Customer Protection Authority and development of mediation or conciliation mechanisms.
- New class action law and opt in or opt out consumer representation system.
- AI and the transformation of banking operations, products and services.
- The transposition of the Directive on consumer credit agreements, contractual models and jurisprudential guidance.
- The strengthening of the figure of the "restructuring expert" appointed by the banking pool.
- Increase of credit capitalizations, reorganization of companies and financing of purchases of productive units.
- Fintechs as collaborators of banks.
- ESG adaptation of the banking sector and green finance.
His assessment of these key milestones for the year is as follows:
In 2024 the MiCA Regulation will continue to move forward, we will have a clearer picture about the Digital Euro and stablecoins. Alternative means of financing will gain ground and, thanks to Blockchain technology, there will be new opportunities for investors and projects. This year, the development of AI in the sector will be key, as well as the possibilities of Fintechs in collaboration with banks or even as open competitors.
Restructuring and case law open up new options for bank creditors in taking control of companies; the maturities of ICO lines in restructuring processes, the criteria for their management and refinancing possibilities now have clearer guidelines for the various operators and will be very much in play in 2024.
4. Dates in the area of digital law and data protection
Ramón Mesonero-Romanos, partner in the area of data protection and digital law, lists these milestones as the most important ones to keep in mind in this area during 2024:
- Data Law: Facilitates access to and reuse of data generated by the use of products or services (Published in theEU OJEU of 22/12/2023).
- Interoperable Europe Regulation: which aims to create an ecosystem of shared interoperability solutions for the EU public sector (expected to be approved in 2024).
- DSA Regulation (Digital Services and Markets Acts): To quickly remove illegal content and fight against fake news (to be implemented in February 2024).
- IA Regulation: To ensure secure systems that respect fundamental rights and European values (expected to be approved in the first half of 2024).
- MICA Regulation (Cryptoassets Markets): Improving user experience (to be partially implemented in June 2024).
- eIDAS2 Regulation (Electronic Identification and Trust Services): Creation of European Digital Identity controlled by citizens (expected to be approved in January 2024).
- Transfer Fund Regulation: Stringent transparency requirements for cryptoasset transfers (to be implemented in December 2024).
Our expert gives his assessment of these 2024 legal challenges in digital law:
The year 2024 will be a frenetic year for digital regulation in the EU. Having optimal data governance will be critical in a modern business environment. Data is a valuable asset that can drive informed decision making, improve operational efficiency and enable innovation. The above will be key in the implementation of Regulations such as the DSA, which will change the way services are delivered in digital marketplaces, strengthening transparency for large enterprises.
Also, the MICA and DORA regulations will oversee cryptoassets and financial digital resilience, boosting security and strengthening infrastructures. We will also see how, within the European bodies, the approval of the AI Regulation, Eidas 2, or projects such as the Digital Euro, which are aimed at meeting the European digital goals for 2030, will be discussed.
Nuestros abogados expertos de cada área pueden ayudarte en la planificación anual de tu empresa en base a estas nuevas tendencias y normativas. Son muchas las fechas señaladas en el calendario y de obligado cumplimiento. De no tenerlo todo al día, las inspecciones y organismos sancionadores correspondientes podrán poner multas por ello.
You can contact us here for any questions about these matters or the key legal dates to keep in mind during this year.