Last year, we released a new harassment course that was inspired by the #MeToo movement. The interactive, story-based course brings to life the real impact of bullying and harassment at work through hard-hitting stories, connects users to a global movement, and gives them a chance to have their story heard too.
We have now released a new linear version of the sexual harassment course. The new course takes users through four key sections, with questions along the way to test users’ knowledge and understanding of the topic. The course is fully compliant with US federal and local harassment laws.
On 25 November 2019, the new SRA Standards and Regulations come into effect. Replacing the SRA Handbook, the SRA Standards and Regulations stipulate the behaviours, standards and requirements expected by solicitors and other SRA regulated people.
VinciWorks has produced a whitepaper that outlines what the new Standards and Regulations will include and the challenges it presents to firms.
The whitepaper covers:
Key differences between the SRA Code of Conduct and the new SRA Standards and Regulations
The requirements of the Insurance Distribution Directive
VinciWorks’ SRA Standards and Regulations training suite
The relationship between training and continuing competence
To help businesses keep track of updates in UK legislation and policies, VinciWorks regularly publishes a short regulatory update. Since our last update in June, the UK has gained a new Prime Minister. Boris Johnson has pledged to ensure the UK leaves the European Union by 31 October 2019.
The Regulatory Agenda is designed to provide an overview of regulatory changes or new regulations recently passed, proposed, or on the agenda which are relevant to key compliance areas of VinciWorks’ clients in the UK. It is divided by the main sources of UK policy and does not include provisions which have been dropped.
Main topics from the regulatory agenda:
Acts of Parliament
Bills before Parliament
Consultations – Open
Consultations – Closed
On the horizon
You can download the regulatory agenda for July by clicking here.
Data Privacy: Fundamentals provides all staff with a comprehensive overview of data privacy rules, policy, and legislation in the United States. The course combines short bursts of learning with practical scenarios and real-life case studies to ensure all staff know how to safely and securely work with data. Interactive scenarios test and score data privacy knowledge as you progress through the training.
A unique, experiential approach to data privacy, the Fundamentals course focuses on the practical knowledge and straightforward behaviors all staff need to know to keep data safe and secure. The course can be purchased either as a stand-alone course or as part of our data privacy training suite.
Under the Equality Act 2010, employers can be held legally responsible for sexual harassment of their staff at work, if the harassment is carried out by a colleague and the employer did not take all steps they could to prevent the harassment from happening.
Whilst the government considers this law effective, it has recognised the issues and deficiencies highlighted by the #MeToo movement in recent years.
HMRC has just released its draft regulations on implementing the 6th Directive on Administrative Cooperation, known as DAC6, into UK law. From 1 July 2020, taxpayers and their advisers are required to report details of certain cross-border arrangements that could be used to avoid or evade paying tax to HMRC. The UK has been lagging behind their European counterparts in producing draft DAC6 legislation.
Money laundering is a worldwide crime that is estimated to total over $2 trillion annually. In the past 20 years, laws have been put in place in the UK to crack down on this crime. This includes Client Due Diligence (CDD) procedures your firm must follow to ensure that your firm is not assisting in money laundering activities. When staff or businesses witness any suspicious activity, they are required to submit a suspicious activity report (SAR). Here is a short guide to what a SAR consists of and how to submit one.
The SRA Handbook will be replaced by the SRA Standards and Regulations in November this year. The SRA has worked closely with the profession and the public to develop their proposals over the last four years, engaging with more than 35,000 people. The changes are set to modernise both SRA regulation and the legal market.
The key changes to the SRA Handbook to be aware of:
Reduction in number of principles – Where the previous Handbook contained 10 Principles with accompanying notes, the SRA Standards and Regulations are constructed around seven principles which apply outside as well as inside practices. The principle to act in the best interest of the client has not changed, but a new principle of honesty has been added. The onus is now on you to interpret the Principles and use your better judgement as opposed to rigidly interpreting a narrow set of examples.
Separate, Shortened Codes of Conduct – The previous Code of Conduct was too long, confusing and complicated, blurring the lines between individual and entity responsibilities. Therefore, it has been replaced with one Code of Conduct for individuals, and a separate Code of Conduct for firms. This will also make it easier for consumers to understand. The separate codes will also ensure a clear distinction between the expectations of individuals and those of the expectations of firms. The indicative behaviours which appeared in previous codes have been removed.
Simplified Accounts Rules – The Accounts Rules introduced by the SRA Standards and Regulations have been simplified and contain a different definition of client money. They also include rules on the use of third-party managed accounts. The Accounts Rules are less prescriptive than previous rules which were overly complex; they focus on the key objective of safeguarding client money. Firms are still required to keep client money separate from firm money and ensure client money is only used for its intended purposes.
Changes to the Insurance Distribution Directive – There is a new explicit requirement that all insurance contracts proposed must be consistent with the client’s demands and needs. Furthermore, if you advise on a certain product then you must provide a personalised recommendation explaining how the product recommended best meets the client’s needs.
Tax evasion continues to be a concern for many European firms. To ensure that your employees remained trained and up to date, VinciWorks has just released a five-minute knowledge check on tax evasion prevention. Knowledge Checks consist of different scenarios to help employees understand which course of action to take in different situations. This knowledge check is part of VinciWorks’ tax evasion training suite which includes the latest course, Tax Evasion: Failure to Prevent and can also be purchased alone.
The five-minute knowledge check covers:
Examples of tax evasion
Which types of transactions are considered tax evasion
The requirements of the Criminal Finances Act
Examples of facilitation of tax evasion
What is meant by “reasonable procedures” under the Criminal Finances Act
VinciWorks’ Knowledge Check series
VinciWorks’ knowledge checks allow businesses to verify and assess your staff’s knowledge of key compliance areas. We are always adding new knowledge checks and we even have an option for businesses to create their own.
Frank Field MP, Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss and Maria Miller MP have recently completed a review of the operation and effectiveness of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the Act) and to recommend improvements commissioned by the Home Office. With the full report yet to be published, we take a look at the effectiveness of The Act.
If a recent independent review of the Modern Slavery Act is anything to go by, the answer would be not very close at all. Today, it is believed that there are still over 21 million slaves in the world, with around 10,000 in the UK alone (although this number is believed to be much higher. This includes sex trafficking victims, child workers and sweatshop employees. In many countries where slavery is prevalent, it is difficult for law enforcement to stop such crime. It is therefore important that companies step up and are more proactive in their efforts to stop this horrible and inhumane crime.
Is the Modern Slavery Act helping to solve the problem?
With the UK government increasing its efforts through increased spend and more resources going towards arresting and prosecuting offenders annually, it’s clear that The Act has played an important role in reducing the number of modern slaves in the UK. The government spent around £39 million in 2017/18 and £61 million in 2018/19 on modern slavery and in 2017, the total number of arrests for modern slavery offences was 131, almost twice the number from the previous period. That number is expected to rise in the 2018/19 period, with members of a gang thought to have around 400 victims recently sentenced to jail.