VinciWorks has just published an e-book warning businesses about the dangers of the gig economy.
Compliance Risks and the Gig Economy takes businesses through the potential legal minefield of using gig economy apps for business purposes. From renting a room through Airbnb, buying a service on UpWork or hailing a ride on Uber, when a business interacts with the gig economy, it can have a knock-on effect across compliance areas from employment law to equality to modern slavery. Most recently, already-under-fire Uber has recently been exposed for concealing a massive global breach of the personal information of 57 million customers and drivers in October 2016.
With around 14 million Brits taking part in some form of independent work, whether traditional freelance or through a new gig economy app, the potential compliance risks range from equality and discrimination to tax evasion, modern slavery and even data protection.
The month of October saw an alarming number of allegations of sexual harassment. This includes the demise of Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein, Netflix cutting ties with actor Kevin Spacey and the spread of allegations to Westminster.
With a recent BBC survey finding half of women in the UK and a fifth of men have been sexually harassed at work or at a place of study, it is clear managers must promote a culture whereby staff can bring up any concerns of sexual harassment in the knowledge that they will be heard and dealt with.
Click on a tax haven to learn more about their risks
The recent huge leak of financial documents revealing how the ultra-rich are secretly investing large amounts of cash in tax havens is the biggest such leak since the Panama Papers last year.
Here is what we know so far:
- The leak of documents mainly exposes one leading financial law firm based in Bermuda.
- The 13.4 million documents shed light on how the super-rich and powerful of the world hide their wealth to avoid paying tax.
- In the US, Wilbur Ross, commerce secretary in Donald Trump’s administration, has business links with Russian allies of President Vladimir Putin who are under US sanctions.
The Bell Pottinger story must be a warning sign to risk managers
The answer, Bell Pottinger has taught us, is yes. Mrs Thatcher’s favourite PR firm entered administration this week on the back of a disastrous, well, PR campaign. The swirling scandal that brought down an industry giant started with a £100,000 per month contract to run a campaign in South Africa on behalf of the Guptas, a family-run business empire ensnared in the largest web of corruption and political intrigue since the end of apartheid.
Bell Pottinger began its campaign with fomenting discontent of “economic apartheid,” the idea that racial injustice in South Africa has simply been replaced with economic injustice. However this campaign increasingly became about deflecting attention away from the actions of the Gupta brothers.
How to get millennials to marry your company
Is your firm feeling a bit male, pale and stale? Have millennial hires turned your office into a revolving door, with new faces never staying long enough for you to remember their names? Is the talent pool shrinking, or is the traditional bait just no longer working?
Whatever the causes, failing to attract top talent is one of the top risks consistently identified by firms through VinciWorks Risk Management System. Like an apocalyptic horror novel where the human race ceases to reproduce, the risk of not attracting and retaining top talent is like a ticking clock counting down to demographic disaster. With every retirement party attended and every leaving card signed, another void opens up. It’s hard to know if it can ever be properly filled.
The Importance of having an integrated risk and business strategy
Does your risk strategy and business strategy sit in two separate folders? When drafting your risk strategy, was it aligned to the business strategy and written with your organisational goals at the forefront? Or, as most companies do, is your risk strategy little more than a casually updated excel sheet?
Without an integrated risk and business strategy, the business will struggle to properly identify the long-term challenges that will affect your business, and thus will miss out on crucial indicators and controls and fail to see risk as a strategic priority.
The result of the 2017 general election has resulted in a hung parliament
What business needs to prepare for in a hung parliament
As the clock struck ten on election night, it was all over. Theresa May’s gamble had failed to pay out. The majority was lost. An unexpected swing to Labour across key and unexpected constituencies took place, offset by a strong swing against the SNP. A surge in young voters turning out and a complete collapse of the UKIP vote meant that the 42% won by the Conservatives and the 40% won by Labour no longer resulted in a landslide, but a hung parliament.
Before the election, VinciWorks published an outline of what to expect after the election from a Conservative or Labour government. Neither of those results has come to pass, so here’s what business could expect, and should prepare for, in this new reality.
A hard Brexit won’t happen
There simply isn’t a majority in Parliament for the hard Brexit that Mrs May was proposing. Cutting off British access to the customs union and single market as the Conservative party wanted looks likely to be set adrift. The Tory’s partners in Parliament, the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, while themselves cheerleaders of Brexit, want a softer version and a frictionless border with the Republic of Ireland, and thus the EU.
The Criminal Finances Act, which received royal assent on 27th April, created a new corporate criminal offence for failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion.
The Act places responsibility on businesses to make sure none of their employees are involved in helping someone evade their taxes. If they do, and if the business failed to have “reasonable measures” to prevent or expose it, then the business itself could be found guilty and liable for some pretty steep fines.
This offence is broad reaching. It can be committed whether or not the company is UK-based or established under the law of another country, or whether the associated person who performs the criminal act of facilitation is in the UK or overseas.
Timeline for Implementation of The New Corporate Criminal Offence
The Act provides for commencement of the provisions from a date to be appointed by the Treasury. It is expected that this will be from September 2017, to coincide with the start of the first exchange of information under the Common Reporting Standard.
Before implementation, organisations of any size and type need to ensure that they have reasonable procedures in place.
The Six Guiding Principles of The “Reasonable Procedures” Defence
Under this new legislation, businesses can be held responsible for the actions of their employees, whether or not the business was aware of an employee’s criminal activities. A business’ only defence is to take “reasonable measures” to ensure that its employees do not facilitate tax evasion. Government guidance recommends the following six “reasonable measure” principles:
- Risk assessment
- Proportionality of risk-based prevention procedures
- Top level commitment
- Due diligence
- Communication (including training)
- Monitoring and review
The dashboard of the Risk Management System is the nerve center of the risk management process. It provides an overview of an organisation’s risk profile, important alerts, top risks and the latest risk news.
This risk epicenter is now even more powerful with the addition of filters for categories and org units.
This granular view of your risks and controls enables you to drill down into any category or org unit and identify potential risks and opportunities. When using the filter, all elements of the dashboard, including reports, charts, control procedures etc. are updated with the filter.
HMRC has secured more than £2.5bn from offshore tax evaders since 2010
Does the Criminal Finances Bill put you at risk?
VinciWorks has created a five minute tax evasion assessment to help you evaluate your exposure to the new corporate criminal offence for failure to prevent tax evasion.
Described as “the largest expansion of UK corporate criminal liability since the Bribery Act”, the Criminal Finances Bill creates a new corporate criminal offence for failing to prevent tax evasion. HMRC has committed to naming and shaming tax evasion ‘enablers’, those who assist individuals in evading tax. New rules mean that organisations can be held liable for assisting in tax evasion even if they were not aware that it is taking place.