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How to build a legal compliance game plan

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John Sherman
2016-12-01

If you are planning on training your team on legal compliance, then you will need to get organized and come up with a proper plan. You will need to know and understand the goals that you are trying to achieve and be able to come up with a plan that will help you to achieve those goals. If you don’t have a plan in place then it will be difficult to meet your targets, making any training less effective than it otherwise could be.

Every company is different, with its own dynamics and requirements meaning that any game plan should be tailor-made to that company’s specific needs. It’s important to do research into just how the company operates to help ensure that any training plans put into place are relevant to them. Certain individuals within the company may also have specific roles that require specific training.

Mandatory training

More importantly, it could help prevent instances of wrong doing happening in the first place.

One key aspect of building a legal compliance game plan is to know exactly which laws need to be abided, and who needs to abide by them. Below are some of the main topics that staff will generally need to be trained in if they are to comply with rules and regulations.

Some necessary areas that the workforce needs to be trained in are:

Safety: Where possible, an employer should always provide safety training to their employees. If a member of the workforce picks up an injury or illness as a result of their job and they had not received adequate training, then the employer could face serious consequences. This ranges from everyday issues such as obstructing walkways and avoiding slippery surfaces, to more specific instances such as handling toxic chemicals and operating heavy machinery. It is often also necessary to ensure that certain personal have certain equipment to help keep them and others safe in the workplace.

Emergency Training: In addition to training staff to help them recognize potential hazards in the workplace, it’s also necessary to train them in what they need to do in the case of an emergency. If there is a fire in the building then having staff that knows how to deal with the situation best could literally help to make the difference between life and death. Emergency training will often tie in with safety training to help ensure it is easy to vacate a building if needed and to help emergencies from occurring in the first place.

Discrimination: Discriminating against certain people based on their race, religion, gender and other demographics is against the law. Employers that have been found not to take necessary precautions and/or act accordingly when issues arise are liable for potentially severe penalties. Management, in particular, should obviously receive anti-discrimination training but the whole workforce should have some training also. The company should also make sure that the whole workforce is aware of procedures to make a complaint if needed.

One of the more serious inequality issues that occur in the workplace is sexual harassment. According to the American Association of University Women, the definition of sexual harassment is “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature”. Not only must the employer put into practice training that helps to recognize and prevent sexual harassment, they must also take very seriously any complaints that are made.

Compliance with the Law: Depending on which particular business you are in, there will be various laws that must be abided by. For example, in the case of a financial services company, this could mean making sure that only qualified people are giving financial advice. In a catering business, it could mean storing food in certain conditions. Depending on which industry you are operating, audits and inspection will be carried out and penalties may be imposed if legal requirements are not complied to.

Orientation for new staff

Whenever introducing new staff to the company, it’s important that they all go through the appropriate orientation procedure as soon as they join. This should cover the basics such as pointing out emergency exits and other essential locations and facilities, as well as making sure they are supplied with any essential equipment. Any necessary documentation should also be provided and signed, including information on policies relating to legal compliance. In many cases, a new employer cannot legally begin to work before they have taken necessary training programs.

Self-audit

Instructing staff on what the rules are and how to obey them is an excellent and necessary start. Self-audits not only help to pick up on any unintended errors but also help to keep the staff on their toes as they will be well aware that their actions will be audited at some point in the future. These audits can often be carried out by in-house compliance staff--although some businesses may prefer to recruit a third party for the audit for a genuinely transparent and impartial audit.

If you are unsure of what you need to do to comply with necessary rules and regulations you could hire a business to do this for you. A team that is experienced in providing compliance training will be aware of what rules and regulations need to be adhered to and how to make sure that individuals are meeting expected requirements. They can also design a training program that you can adopt, helping you to train your workforce yourself in the future.

 

 

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