RecordsIs the company maintaining accurate and proper records both of its internal accounting and operational procedures, but also of its external relationships? These records need to be accurate and in the company’s possession or control.
EmployeesIs the company complying with its obligations in respect of employees? contracts, does it have all necessary procedures and policies in place and evidence they are being followed? Is the company providing all necessary pensions to employees? Is the company fully aware of its obligations in the way it treats its employees to avoid potential claims for discrimination? Is the company taking proper and appropriate action, where employees are making complaints or highlighting grievances?
Bribery Act 2010Does the company have adequate procedures to ensure that it is not involved in bribery and corruption? Is it clear that the company is paying proper regard to the policies and procedures that it has put in place?
Data protectionIs the company registered with The Information Commissioner in respect of the data that it holds? Has the company assessed what personal information it is holding and what the company can and can’t do with that information? Is the company collecting personal information correctly with the appropriate consents from the individuals whose data the company holds? Has the company put proper procedures in place should they receive a request for access to personal data? Has the company got all necessary security to ensure data is safe from theft or unlawful access?
Health and safetyHas the company attained all required health and’safety permits and certificates to carry out its business? Has the company put in place all necessary procedures and policies to ensure it can show that it is complying with health & safety legislation? Is the company taking proper and adequate steps to ensure that it is complying with its obligation not only to employees and other persons with whom the business is in contact, but also in respect of the environment? Does the company have proper records to show this? These are just an example of the areas of a company’s operations that have significant legislation applying to them. That legislation can not only lead to liabilities for the company, but also to potential prosecutions and/or personal liability for the company’s directors. A company that properly attends to these areas and has records to prove it, however, will be able to use this to promote its own image of corporate responsibility, enhancing its ability to employ, to contract with customers and importantly, its own value. For early-stage companies, check out Simon Wallwork’s previous article on legal advice for startups. For further advice on your business legal responsibilities, read our Q&A regarding all aspects of advertising law.
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