Different industries contain different levels of regulatory compliance. However, it is fair to say that every industry is the subject of some sort of regulatory compliance. Most industries will be subject to a lot of regulatory compliance from different areas. For example, a builder, amongst other regulations will be subject to the building regulations and the occupational health and safety regulations that are closely monitored by the Victorian Building Authority and Worksafe.
The Financial Services industry including credit license holders and Financial Services Licence holders are subject to an immense amount of regulation that is closely monitored by ASIC.
Failing tomeet the required regulations within your industry can see restrictions placed on licenses or licenses taken away all together. It is therefore important to ensure that you know and understand the regulatory compliance issues that directly relate to your business. Furthermore, this same information should be relayed to all staff who work in the business.
Government bodies such as the Victorian building Authority, Worksafe and ASIC are generally not so concerned with who breached the regulations in your business or how, but the fact that they were breached. It is your responsibility to ensure that you and your staff know the regulations specific to your business and the ramifications to the business if there not followed.
Generally an industry body or relevant government department can assist you in understanding the regulations that apply to your industry and to develop a compliance plan, such as the Victorian building Authority, Workcover and ASIC. However, it is always a good idea to have a lawyer look over your compliance plan to ensure that it meets the standards expected by these authorities and covers what needs to be covered.
Experience suggests that authorities are more lenient towards a business with a strong compliance plan and culture, endorsed by lawyers, as opposed to one with no plan and a poor culture, whenever a breach occurs. This is partly because many of the penalties involve enforceable undertakings to do or not do something. If you have a strong compliance plan and culture, then you are more likely to respond to and fulfill an undertaking where one has been given.