Should I be worried?

Yes.

Over the last 15 years, expectations of business leaders have changed because of events like Pike River and the finance company collapses. The leadership-accountability laws now have real teeth. And the regulators are using them!

Getting things right has additional important benefits, like keeping your people and assets safe so everyone can focus on achieving your goals.

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Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013

5 years in prison or a $500,000 fine (or both)

 

Companies Act 1993

5 years in prison or a $200,000 fine

 

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

5 years in prison or a $600,000 fine (or both).

And the law stops directors and officers insuring against many of these penalties.

Assuming all is good, is bad

Things have changed.

Until recently, many businesses could get away with doing very little when it came to managing
legal risks. Things have changed. CEOs and directors can’t afford to assume everything is ok.

Increasingly the law is requiring directors and business leaders to take an active role in ensuring the business complies with the law. For example, the due diligence duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Do any of the assumptions below sound familiar?

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"We have a high-performing team – they must understand the laws that apply to our business."

Unless your team are legal experts who have done the necessary research, they won’t know the detail of the laws that apply to your business.

 

"Exception reporting on legal risk and compliance gives us comfort."


People can only report on what they know about. The biggest risk of all is that people don’t know what they don’t know.

 

"It’s a well-run business, we can assume it’s clear who is responsible for what legal obligations."

This work has probably never really been done.
There is likely to be serious gaps – unless you have an informed basis to assume
otherwise!

 

"Our compliance programme links to the front page of the legislation."


Most of your managers aren’t legally trained. They won’t be much wiser about what legal duties and obligations apply. Even if they had the time to try and work it out!

 

“We’ve appointed a compliance manager, everything will be taken care of.”

A good first move but chances are there isn’t a budget to buy the tools they need to do their job effectively.

 

“We’ve done some internal reporting and it was 100% compliant, so we can rely on that”

People were told ‘the board wants 100% compliance or else!’
What they should be told is, ‘the board wants us to identify our legal risks, so we can all keep out of trouble and be better operators’.

What to insist on?

Get clarity & peace of mind

Directors and business leaders have a core duty to oversee legal risk and compliance. This means getting real clarity that obligations are complied with, and risks identified.

To get clarity and peace of mind, you need clear and reliable answers to the following questions: 

  • How do we identify the legal duties and obligations that apply?
  • How do we know who is responsible for what obligations?
  • Are our people clear about what the law requires?
  • How do we identify our legal risks?
  • How do we track and resolve our outstanding risks?
  • How do we keep up-to-date with legal change?

Why ComplyWith?

A tool for clarity and keeping you out of trouble

ComplyWith is New Zealand’s most trusted legal risk and compliance tool. It enables your people to clearly understand what the law requires and provides an effective process for identifying and tracking legal risks.

Insisting that your business has properly implemented a tool like ComplyWith is evidence you are taking reasonable steps to oversee legal and compliance risk, and that you are exercising due diligence.

ComplyWith customers

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