Australian legislation is constantly being reviewed and amended. While these changes may feel tiresome to keep up with, organisations need to ensure they’re doing their due diligence and maintaining compliance with relevant legislation.
Legislation is mandatory, not optional, so non-compliance can lead to serious repercussions for businesses. By staying on top of what’s required of you and keeping systems up-to-date, your company can avoid hefty fines, minimise and manage workplace risks and avoid criminal and/or tax liability.
In addition to this, failing to meet legislative requirements could lead to:
- Contracts that haven’t been updated to reflect new legal requirements being deemed as unlawful or unenforceable;
- Your business’ ASX listing being suspended;
- Insurance claims lodged by your organisation being denied, as you don’t fully satisfy your policy obligations;
- Damage to your business’ reputation and public perception, which could impact relationships with relevant stakeholders.
With all of this in mind, there’s certainly no denying the importance of ensuring your organisation has sufficient processes and procedures for managing updates in legislation. This involves everything from knowing what’s required of you in the first place, to actually implementing and monitoring any changes made to improve compliance.
Which types of legislative updates should you manage?
As an Australian business, there are various key areas of legislation you need to understand the requirements of and, respectively, remain compliant with. As a general overview, this includes legislation relating to:
- Consumer rights and product requirements
- Codes of Practice
- Trademarks, patents, intellectual property
- Health and safety
Managing legislative updates
Managing legislative updates can be challenging and, at first, it can be difficult to know where to begin. But, by introducing effective systems and getting expert assistance when necessary, you can avoid falling short of your obligations.
1. Determine which legislation is relevant to your business
First and foremost, you need to establish the types of legislation that are relevant to your business and that you need to keep track of.
This involves meeting with staff across your organisation, with legal and regulatory compliance groups in attendance. This can help you not only clearly determine the legislation that applies to different groups organisation-wide, but also ensure each employee understands what’s expected of them.
During this time, your business can also identify any current discrepancies and/or downfalls that will need to be addressed in the months to come.
This is a great opportunity to get input from staff across all organisational levels, so you can get a holistic idea of where your systems are currently at and where they need to be given recent legislative updates.
If your business doesn’t have the time or resources to do this, or employees aren’t adequately trained in the area, a consultant can take on and lead this process for you.
2. Develop an implementation plan and framework
Now that you’ve determined where your business wants to be, you need to set out a clear framework that provides all staff with the relevant information needed to achieve legislative compliance.
Your framework should be comprehensive, providing structure to how particular legislation applies to your business, how your organisation plans to address the requirements, any documented evidence and any monitoring required to ensure you remain compliant.
You also need to take into account any changed requirements introduced via legislative updates. This will involve training staff, pinpointing and managing risks and developing a suitable change management strategy.
3. Leverage cloud-based IMS
While managing legislation and legislative updates can be time-consuming and overwhelming – it doesn’t have to be.
Many organisations manage legislation via an excel-based legislation register, but this can be clunky and unwieldy for businesses. Things are further complicated when staff operate remotely and rely on one individual being responsible for communicating any information to avoid corruption of data.
With cloud-based systems, you can make organisation-wide changes quickly and seamlessly, communicate clearly and directly with staff, and monitor systems with ease.
Another benefit of moving your systems to the cloud is that should you wish to engage a consultant, they can easily help you manage your legislative compliance remotely. This means that regardless of where your organisation and employees are based, you can implement required changes swiftly and alleviate clunky, inefficient procedures.
Get on top of the latest legislative updates
Our team are available Australia-wide and have extensive experience in helping businesses get and stay compliant with legislation. For more information or if this article has brought up any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our legislative updates consultants.
Contact us today and find out how our team can help you achieve your business’ compliance goals.