Transitional options for ACNC registrations finish on 2 December 2013, organisations who wish to opt in as ‘religious’ charities need to make a submission by that date or will be required to apply for charitable registration after that deadline.

For other registered charities with a financial year of 30 June and who have not yet submitted an Annual Information Statement to the ACNC, the latest circular from the regulator states that the deadline for filing the first AIS has been extended to March 2014.

The ACNC continues to post useful governance and administrative tools on its website as well as providing electronic options for reporting organisational changes as well as the AIS.

Finding red tape isn’t quite as sparse as promised?  Contact Compliance Essentials for assistance with governance and other compliance needs; call 1300 602 880 or via our website www.complianceessentials.com.au

Is your organisation ready for 1 January 2014 and the implementation of the Fair Work Act 2009 (anti-bullying legislation)? Workplace bullying is heinous and injurious to health and wellbeing; this legislative amendment relating to anti-bullying measures will apply to employers and employees Australia-wide in less than two month’s time.

For all employers it is recommended that internal procedures are put in place to demonstrate and engage the organisational stance against workplace bullying including other behaviours such as use of social media (a potential route for bullying and vilification).  There is still time to put in place robust policies and procedures with the aim of maintaining a workplace free from bullying as well as setting direction on the organisational position for internal and external use of social media by employees.  It is also important to keep staff and contractors (who are covered by the legislation) up to date with in house briefings and training on ways to prevent and, in worst case scenario, internally report alleged bullying incidents.  Note, as of January 2014 an employee who alleges that they are the victim of workplace bullying will have the right to address the matter directly with the Fair Work Commission, bypassing internal grievance procedures.

Compliance Essentials can assist your organisation with all compliance matters; contact us on 1300 602 880 or via our website www.complianceessentials.com.au


Looking for an electronic solution to manage and monitor your GRC functions? Compliance Essentials is a channel partner of 1FiCS  – www.1fics.com

There are some organisational owners and managers who run shy from the word ‘compliance’ – the interpretation is often policing or threats.  In fact implementing legal and regulatory compliance is an important part of developing and growing a business.

Compliance goes hand in hand with risk management (and governance hence GRC); these are good practice and part of the management tool kit to be used in business strategy, business growth, as a way of increased business efficiencies.  Aiming for a compliant culture can afford protection from regulatory intervention, is a way of reducing general insurance premiums (ask your insurance broker) and an aid to protecting your organisation’s reputation.

In summary, its all about the bottom line!

How can Compliance Essentials assist your organisation?  Please contact us for an initial chat on 1300 602 880 or get in touch via our website at www.complianceessentials.com.au

 

Where goods are imported into Australia and the overseas manufacturer has no representation in Australia Australian Consumer Law places the responsibilities of a manufacturer on the importer:

Section 7(1)(e) of the legislation states

a person who imports goods into Australia if:

   (i) the person is not the manufacturer of the goods; and

  (ii) at the time of the importation, the manufacturer of the goods does not have a
       place of business in Australia.”

In simple terms this means that an importer in such circumstances takes on the responsibilities of a manufacturer in relation to the provision of  legally compliant products, supply of spare parts (where applicable) and accountability to consumers for product quality and product safety.  Where products and product safety are non compliant regulatory penalties can be applicable.

Compliance Essentials can work with your organisation to manage and monitor compliance – don’t run the risk, contact us for an initial discussion on 1300 602 880 or via our website at www.complianceessentials.com.au

There may be close on six months until the changes to Privacy Legislation are effected (12 March 2014) nevertheless all organisations that fall within the scope of the legislation are encouraged to take this window of opportunity to review their operational activities in relation to upcoming requirements as well as reviewing and updating privacy policies and procedures.

The changes bring 13 APP (privacy principles) that will apply to both government and non-government organisations, in addition the Information Commissioner (www.oaic.gov.au) will have regulatory powers to investigate and penalise an organisation found to be non-compliant in terms of the legislation.

Watch out for APP 8 if your organisation sends personal information off-shore (note ‘cloud computing’) and the changes with regard to Credit Reporting.  Further information on the reforms is available at www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/privacy-act/privacy-law-reform.

Does your organisation need a privacy health check?  Contact Compliance Essentials for an initial (no charge) discussion.

 

 

Changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 in relation to keeping workplaces free from bullying are effective from 1 January 2014.

What are the implications for employers?  The provisions of the amended legislation will allow a worker who suffers bullying in the workplace to take the matter directly to the Fair Work Commission bypassing their employer; the definition of ‘worker’ extends to ‘contractors’.  If the worker is successful in their action the Fair Work Commission has the power to make any orders it deems appropriate to prevent the worker from being bullied in the workplace – this is other than reinstatement, payment of compensation or other monetary penalties.

Employers have time, prior to the commencement of these provisions, to review policies and procedures, setting out expected standards of behaviour in the workplace, ensuring robust procedures for dealing with bullying claims as well as engaging in staff training across their organisation.  Policies and procedures need to include a firm line on use of social media which is also a potential avenue for bullying and vilification between members of the workforce.

Compliance Essentials is available to assist employers to prepare and be ready for this legislative change; contact us on 1300 602 880 or via www.complianceessentials.com.au.

 

 

Those not-for-profit organisations that are registered as charities with the ACNC have a continuing requirement to keep an eye on ongoing activities at the Commission.

As of 1 July 2013 registered charitable organisations are obligated to comply with the requirements of the five Governance Standards determined by the Commission.  In summary the standards require:

#1 Determination of purpose and not for profit nature

#2 Accountability to members

#3 Compliance with Australian laws

#4 Suitability of responsible persons (e.g. members of Board of Governance/Committee  of Management)

#5 Fulfilment of duties by responsible persons

Registered charities also need to consider the data required to complete the Annual Information Statement for 2013; note a recent announcement from ACNC indicates that there will be an option to complete the statement on line.

Does your registered charity need some assistance with governance and compliance?  Be risk averse and contact us on 1300 602 880 or via our website www.complianceessentials.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

How do you know that your business complies with all the applicable legislative obligations?  A further question, could your organisation sustain a large financial hit if proven guilty of a legislative breach?

If these questions give you food for thought why not take the next step in the thought process, read on and reflect on some of the benefits that maintaining a compliant culture can bring to your business activities:

  • Helping to protect your organisation from regulatory investigations and penalties
  • Reduced risk exposure
  • Giving your business an increased competitive edge
  • Protection of reputation
  • Reduce staff turnover
  • Potentially reduce general insurance premiums
  • Increased efficiencies
  • Adding value

You know it makes sense.

For a no obligation chat about your organisation’s needs call us on 1300 602 880 or contact us via our website www.complianceessentials.com.au/contact-us

The questions of ‘Wrap Rage’?

I certainly suffer from it, how do you fare trying to open some of the more difficult packaging items that we acquire in daily shopping?  Have a look at the following You Tube video clip ‘Larry David vs Bad Packaging’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HubZInAs0-A

That snippet made me laugh but unhappily the underlying sentiment is certainly familiar, that intense frustration at not only being unable to open a pack with your fingers but failing continually with various sharp instruments. Until recently I thought I was unusual in being more than inadequate in a losing battle with clamshell packaging and blister packs, now I realise that an uncountable number of the world’s population suffer from the same problem and the attendant frustration, and sometime personal injury!

Readers Digest  have conducted a survey amongst consumers, not only in relation to clamshells and blister packs but also other forms of ‘un-openable’ items; the types of consequential injury that the survey reports are not surprising but nonetheless should never happen.

Time was when someone occasionally stabbed themselves in the hand with an old-fashioned tin opener, it could happen.  Perhaps someone can explain then why now, in the 21st century, in this age of high technology, instant communication and whiz-bang gizmos, we not only have to pay for unmanageable packaging as part of product costs but at the same time risk injury to our hands, teeth and general wellbeing to access the purchased product.

The packaging issue is a serious enough matter for able-bodied people, but what consideration are the packaging moguls giving to those less able.  Spend a moment to consider those amongst the general population who maintain their pride by looking after themselves and who would experience a range of difficulties – from ‘hard’ to ‘impossible’ – in forcing an entry into clamshell packaging, blister packs or sometimes even a ‘child proof’ jar or container.  A disability that weakens strength, dexterity, coordination; vision impairment; a debilitating illness such as arthritis; mental disability, the list can go on, sections of the community that have to ask for help to do something as simple as opening a consumer pack.

A product offered for sale is, by law, required to be ‘fit for purpose’.  Some of the purposes of these impossible packaging items may be to render an item ‘tamper proof’ or to pose a deterrent to in-store pilfering, however having paid good money for any item, big or small, I would expect to be able to remove the packaging (easily and without risk of personal injury) and when I can’t no tick for ‘fit for purpose’ from me!
Please share your bad packaging experiences www.complianceessentials.com.au/contact-us

 

Compliance Essentials has been following the progress of ACNC prior to the legislation being effected and is continuing to keep up to date with the governance responsibilities that have and will arise for NFPs.  In our working relationship with not-for-profit organisations our perception is that some organisations are finding ACNC information requests and interpretation of future requirements a potential burden.

If you are a charitable organisation we would love to hear how you are settling into being part of ACNC.  Please send us an email to info@complianceessentials.com.au or get in touch via our website at www.complianceessentials.com.au/contact us

Regards, the Compliance Essentials Team