Competition Law: Know Your Market contains three modules on cartels, prices and competitors
VinciWorks has just released a new course as part of its Market Rules series. Competition Law: Know Your Market drops users into a set of immersive scenarios to test their knowledge, understanding and ability to comply with UK competition law. The course is broken into short modules that cover different aspects of UK competition law, including price-fixing, cartels and meetings with competitors. Each module contains simulations of real business dilemmas with key learning points related to the scenario.
Each set of scenario questions is illustrated with real life examples and the latest news concerning enforcement action from the Competition and Markets Authority. Users come away with a comprehensive understanding of the UK Competition Act, the Enterprise Act, and how to apply their knowledge to everyday situations.
The unthinkable has happened and you’re busy gathering your business continuity team together to manage the incident. You pop your head around the door to the Head of HR and they say they have no idea that they’re meant to be on the team. The Head of Legal says the same. You’re already in a high-pressure situation as time is against you and now you need to explain to these people how the team works when what you really need is for them to mobilise quickly and perform their role.
Many organisations have detailed business continuity plans sitting on their shelves and the board, the auditors and often the insurers are expecting that the team will be able to respond quickly should an incident occur. However, many business continuity teams have never even met, let alone understand their role or what they will need to do in the heat of an incident. Tabletop exercises are an essential part of the business continuity process. However, many organisations may not have the experience or buy-in to conduct this training. Part of the issue in convincing organisations of the true value of these sessions is a lack of understanding of the benefit these exercises can bring.
The Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) has been finalising a package of reforms designed to provide solicitors and law firms with greater flexibility over how they operate, making legal services more accessible to the public.
These include the new Price Transparency Rules set to be introduced on 6 December 2018, the Insurance Distribution Directive and reforms to the SRA Handbook including revised Account Rules.
In our recent webinar, Richard Williams, Policy Associate at the SRA, Ruth Cohen, Legal and Research Executive at VinciWorks and Gary Yantin, Director of Best Practice at VinciWorks explored the upcoming changes to the SRA Handbook. The webinar explored the implications of the SRA reforms and gave guidance and tips on how to be SRA compliant.
The headline is sadly too familiar. We’re told how many more victims have now come forward since the first allegation of sexual misconduct against the previously well-respected celebrity. Victims who knew the perpetrator in a professional capacity with accounts that stretch back to when they, now in the twilight of their career, were in their youth. The reader’s suspicions are confirmed that the abuse was either left unnoticed, ignored, or sadly, but most likely, swept under the carpet for decades. Of course, the unfortunate reality is that for every celebrity in the headlines there are many more non-celebrities whose acts are equally appalling but not newsworthy.
In acknowledgment of this, on May 10th, 2018 the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act was passed with the aim of protecting all employees in New York from sexual harassment in the workplace. The Act places a requirement on New York employers to review their policies and procedures relating to sexual harassment and provide annual anti-sexual harassment training to their staff.
Read more: A guide to the New York sexual harassment laws
What we learned from #MeToo
VinciWorks realized that sexual harassment was an issue that was vital to address from a compliance perspective when the #MeToo movement revealed the shocking prevalence of abuse within society. We began by conducting some research into why workplace sexual harassment was still rife and worryingly found that 50% of respondents didn’t think their organization would deal with a report of sexual harassment very seriously. It confirmed what we already suspected – harassment is a topic that needs to look at the end point first and ask the toughest question: is there a culture of sexual harassment within this organization?
Competition law is a series of rules and regulations which seeks to maintain fair competition in an open market and regulate anti-competitive conduct by companies. One of the key aspects of competition law is price fixing. This is an illegal activity that can result in huge fines, criminal convictions and imprisonment.
What is price fixing?
Price-fixing is agreeing with a competitor what price customers will be charged. It can also include agreements not to sell something below a minimum price or agreeing not to undercut a competitor. Price-fixing leads to inflated prices and customers being overcharged.
Who is covered by price fixing regulations?
Competition law applies to online markets as well as traditional sellers. It also applies equally to small businesses as well as large ones.
As part of our commitment to providing our clients with better and more efficient products, we are pleased to announce that we have upgraded Omnitrack’s workflows. This upgrade improves many aspects of the system and simplifies workflows without changing any of the current functionality. The new version will feel instantly familiar and straightforward to existing users and should not require any new training.
What is Omnitrack?
VinciWorks’ Omnitrack is a fully flexible, fully customisable data collection tool that can be used by businesses to capture, track and manage any type of information, from registers and assessments to self-reporting forms and notifications. The Omnitrack platform has the versatility and power to log data assets, record complaints and breaches, enable whistleblowing, evidence regulatory compliance and manage other business processes internally, throughout the supply chain or on behalf of independent firms subscribing to outsourced business services.
Businesses have a responsibility and a legal obligation to follow competition law and ensure staff have the knowledge and understanding to do that. Companies should regularly update such policies. Staff should be made aware that failure to adhere to their company’s competition law policy could result in large fines and criminal charges against individual employees and the company.
VinciWorks has created a competition law policy template that is fully compliant with the Competition Act 1998 and the Enterprise Act 2002.
What should be included in a competition law policy?
Employee obligations with regards to competition law
Employees must report any activity, transaction or dealing which they suspect may infringe upon competition law to the relevant reporting officer. They must also report all contact with competitors where there was any discussion of contracts, competitors, suppliers, sub-contractors or other relevant external bodies to the reporting officer. Full minutes should be recorded of any trade association meetings that are attended by representatives of your organisation.
On Wednesday, 21 November, at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London, VinciWorks attended the prestigious Learning Technologies Awards 2018 as finalists in the “Best use of mobile learning” category for our #MeToo-inspired sexual harassment course, MyStory. The annual awards celebrate excellence in learning technology and this year, up against giants such as L’Oreal, Air France and winners John Lewis, we were honoured to have MyStory nominated.
In the category with the most nominees of the evening, John Lewis claimed the Gold award for their series of bite-size, self-led web app resources were made accessible via the device.
About VinciWorks’ sexual harassment training
MyStory: Harassment and Bullying at Work directly applies the powerful lessons of the recent global outcry against sexual harassment in the workplace through innovative storytelling and a mobile-first design. Soon to be available to download on app stores for free, the course changes the paradigm of previously ineffective, legalistic harassment training by bringing real stories of harassment to life. The course connects users to a global movement and provides everyone with a safe platform to raise their voice against bullying and harassment at work.
Demo the course
In a survey carried out by VinciWorks, a staggering 50% of respondents said they weren’t confident their organisation would deal with a report of sexual harassment very seriously. And worse, 10% of respondents said that they had been shown sexually explicit or inappropriate content at work. The results of this survey and others evidence that in an environment where harassment is tolerated and complaints ignored, abuse will thrive. Sadly, a study by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission critically shows that 75% of victims don’t report abuse because they fear retaliation, whilst 75% of victims who did report abuse experienced retaliation.
When making any decision, from deciding what to have for dinner to buying a house, many biases can come into play. The workplace is no different, with unconscious bias affecting decisions on a daily basis. For example, the intern may have a great idea that gets shut down because “she hasn’t even graduated yet”, while the almost-retired customer relations manager may raise an important concern that isn’t taken seriously because “he doesn’t understand the system”.
In this webinar, Karla Gahan and Dean Hughes explored the biases that play a role in the workplace and how the risk of those biases clouding judgment can be mitigated.