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Laws that apply to you

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years ago

What laws apply to you?: developing compliance policies


What laws apply to your business? What must you know about?


It's fairly easy to prepare a list of Commonwealth and State laws and local by-laws (and mandatory and self-regulatory codes of conduct) and talk about the significant penalty provisions.


But it shouldn't stop there. It's essential for a business to build a framework of policies and procedures around the core legislation and then train your staff and monitor them to ensure compliance on a day to day basis.


So what are the basics?

  • The Corporations Act
  • whichever Act licenses your industry
  • The Trade Practices Act and consumer protection laws
  • The Commonwealth Privacy Act
  • the various Tax Acts (Commonwealth and State)
  • occupational health and safety laws
  • employment and discrimination laws
  • intellectual property laws
  • real property laws
  • environmental laws
  • insurance laws
  • contract and ecommerce laws
  • your industry's standards and codes


If you provide financial services:


If you are a public company:

  • ASX Corporate Governance Principles
  • Stock Exchange Business and Listing Rules (if you are listed)


How do you translate those laws into understandable policies and procedures?


Your policies may be structured by department or function or process eg HR, accounting, sales, marketing. They should be given to staff as appropriate or made available on an intranet. Each business procedure should incorporate any legal requirement.


Here are some issues that need to be covered:

  • Corporate governance
  • Confidentiality
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Employment conditions
  • Anti-money laundering
  • Gifts and inducements
  • Political donations
  • Competition and unlawful trade practices
  • New products
  • New customers
  • Proprietary information (who owns employees' inventions)?
  • Use of copyright materials and other IP (eg client logos)
  • Handling media enquiries
  • Customer complaints
  • Trust accounts and client property
  • Document retention
  • Licence condition monitoring and renewal
  • Reporting obligations (including continuous disclosure, if applicable)
  • Whistleblowing
  • Fraud reporting
  • Litigation
  • Dealings with regulators
  • Equal opportunity, discrimination, bullying, harassment and victimisation
  • Occupational health and safety (licensing, training, first aid, accidents)
  • Technology use policies including Email and internet abuse, weblogs
  • Relationships between staff
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Gambling
  • Account opening procedures
  • Credit approval procedures
  • Debt collection
  • Marketing including telemarketing, trade promotions and advertising sign off and website compliance
  • Terms and conditions of sale
  • Management accounting
  • Insurance coverage and risk management


No doubt there will be others that apply to your business. But you can't manage your legal compliance if you don't document it.


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