Legislation is continually being assessed and amended to more accurately reflect the modern Australian landscape.
It’s crucial that, as a business, you stay up-to-date on the latest in legislative revisions. By ensuring that you adequately satisfy any relevant requirements, you can avoid the harrowing consequences of a compliance breach.
What Happens if You Fail to Meet Your Legislative Requirements?
Many organisations have been caught out in the past, whether they intentionally or carelessly failed to meet the rules outlined in Australian legislation.
Regardless of how big or small your company is you’re not exempt from the law and, respectively, the penalties of breaking the law.
If you aren’t regularly monitoring your organisation’s compliance with relevant legislation, you may be at risk of the following:
- Fines (relative to the significance of your breach or breaches);
- Suspension of your ASX listing;
- Absolving your insurer from their liability under your policy. This means that, in the event of a claim, your case may be rejected under the grounds that you didn’t meet your policy obligations;
- Criminal liability;
- If contracts aren’t updated to encompass the requirements of new legislation, they may be deemed unlawful or unenforceable;
- Tax liability.
However, investing the appropriate amount of time, money and resources into maintaining your legislative compliance goes beyond protecting your business from the legal costs of misconduct.
When organisations aren’t operating in a lawful manner, it can be incredibly damaging to their reputation. This can have a detrimental effect on their business’ long-term success, negatively impacting relationships with customers, suppliers and employees. This can stunt growth and, consequently, threaten the ongoing viability of your organisation.
With all of this in mind, there’s no denying that managing and staying on top of the latest in legislative updates ought to be a priority in your business.
The Core Types of Legislation to Get Familiar With
The legislative requirements of your business can be broad and highly technical.
It’s for this reason that, if you are inexperienced in the area, we’d suggest investing in professional consultancy services. With a qualified advisor by your side, you’ll be in the position to ensure you’re fully aware of and in compliance with legislation updates.
Typically, Australian organisations will need to operate in accordance with the following categories of legislation:
- Health and Safety
- Environmental protections
- Employment laws
- Business registration
- Fair trade
- Anti-bullying laws
- Unfair dismissal
- Intellectual property
- Franchising code of conduct
- Importing and exporting
- Marketing compliance
Of course, the exact legislation that applies to a certain company will be dependent on their specific organisational context and characteristics. At Integrated Compliance Solutions, our experts can assist you in staying up-to-date on the latest updates in sections that are relevant to you.
Managing Legislative Updates: Our 3 Top Tips
Don’t expose your organisation to unnecessary risks – when it comes to legislative compliance, ensure you’re taking the appropriate precautions.
Conducting business in accordance with regulatory guidelines doesn’t have to be difficult. By enforcing a variety of practical measures, you can proactively reduce your company’s exposure to legislation breaches (and their consequences).
1. Develop a legislation register
- Complete a Legislative Compliance Audit
- Ensure you have a system to keep your legislation up to date. (ref: legislation page for details)
Legislative Compliance audits assess how closely your organisation’s systems align with the requirements of relevant regulatory guidelines. A qualified lead auditor will conduct your compliance audit, identifying any discrepancies in your existing systems and detailing how best to address these gaps.
By regularly completing legislative compliance audits of your processes, your business can proactively detect risks, all the while adjusting systems to cater to legislative changes.
2. Provide Adequate Training
Legislative compliance requires a commitment from employees across all organisational levels and, as such, providing individuals with the appropriate training is crucial.
Introducing policies that address the latest legislative updates is pointless if your employees aren’t equipped with the knowledge to action changes organisation-wide. Thus, staff members need to be made aware of their role in meeting regulatory guidelines, while also being informed of how any recent updates may impact them.
3. Focus on Continual Improvement
You’ve achieved compliance with the latest legislation – but it doesn’t stop there.
Even after reaching your regulatory compliance objectives, it’s important to have processes in place that allow you to continually monitor and improve systems as required. This means that, when new legislative updates are introduced (inevitably), you’ll be prepared to seamlessly make amendments across all of your business’ operations.
How you plan on maintaining long-term compliance should be a key component of your organisation’s strategy. Prioritising the completion of regular audits is suggested, as this ensures that any changes can be promptly identified and integrated into systems.
Get Compliant With the Latest Legislative Updates
If you’re interested in improving your legislative compliance and staying up-to-date in the latest amendments, get in touch with our team of expert consultants.