Risk management is no longer a strategy reserved for large corporations. Today, every business has compliance obligations and the best way to stay on top of them is to complete a compliance checklist.
The key areas where compliance is required are:
Whether further areas of compliance apply to you (i.e. environmental law, directors’ duties, financial services, etc.) will depend on the size and nature of your business. Here, we will focus on the core areas of compliance that apply to most businesses.
The two main areas of Equal Opportunity legislation are Harassment and Discrimination.
Harassment includes workplace harassment (offensive, threatening, intimidating or humiliating behaviour) and sexual harassment (intimidating or coercive behaviour of a sexual nature).
Discrimination is treating someone unfairly because of their age, sex, race, religion, sexual persuasion, disability or marital status.
In both cases you, the employer, have ‘vicarious liability’, which means you are deemed to be responsible unless you have taken reasonable steps to prevent such behaviour occurring.
So are you compliant? If you are, you would:
- Have equal opportunity policies and procedures in place
- Actively monitor your workplace culture
- Educate your employees about their responsibilities
- Have an adequate system for dealing with complaints.
As an employer, you are required to provide a safe workplace for your employees. This includes:
- Safe premises
- Safe handling, storage and transport of materials
- Safe operating systems
- Education, training and supervision of employees.
So, how many boxes can you tick on your compliance checklist? Do you have:
- A risk management plan for identifying and reducing potential hazards
- Safety policies and procedures
- An appointed safety officer
- Safety induction and training for staff?
The new Competition and Consumer Act 2010 has meant the biggest reforms to Australian trade practices law since the inception of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
These include changes to fair trading, unfair practices, unfair contracts, consumer guarantees, lay-by agreements and product safety standards.
To know your obligations in these areas, you will need to check the regulations relating to each, but at the very minimum, you should have:
- Reviewed your procedures, contracts and products in light of the new legislation
- Provided training to staff on the new compliance requirements.
The way you collect, use, store and disclose private information is regulated by the Federal Privacy Act.
So, is your business compliant? You should be able to tick the following boxes if you:
- Only collect necessary information
- Advise customers what you intend to do with it and give them access to it
- Keep it accurate and up to date and store it securely
- Have an appointed privacy officer in your business
- Provide privacy training for your staff.
There are severe financial penalties for failing to comply in any of these four areas, so if you couldn’t tick all the boxes in this compliance checklist, now would be a good time to introduce compliance training as part of a learning management system.