On 25 November 2019, the changes to the SRA Handbook, now known as the SRA Standards and Regulations, came into force. To help solicitors understand their requirements under the reforms, our Director of Best Practice Gary Yantin was joined by the SRA’s Policy Associate Jatinderpal Loyal to answer our audience’s questions.
Here are some of the questions answered by Jatinderpal during the webinar:
Do the new Principles and Code apply to unqualified employees?
What are the key changes to the conflicts and confidentiality provisions in the new Code of Conduct(s)?
How should firms stay updated on the STaRs?
Will there be an increase in reports to the SRA?
Does a notification to the firm’s insurer automatically warrant reporting to the SRA?
Why has the principle to “act honestly and with integrity” been separated into two principles?
“The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires all businesses in the UK to provide whatever information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of employees.”
Despite the legal requirement, health and safety training has a bad reputation. Most people working in an office don’t want to do it, and won’t think about it much again. VinciWorks has released a health and safety course designed to make training more engaging and relevant to the user’s workplace.
Health and Safety for Office Workers
VinciWorks’ new course, Health and Safety for Office Workers, delivers short, interactive health and safety training units that are customised to the specific office they work in by default. Gone are the endless slides that bear little to no relevance to a person’s working environment. Health and Safety for Office Workers provides all the health and safety information in one place.
On 7 October 2019, the European Council adopted the EU Directive on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law (the “Directive”). The purpose of the Directive is to lay down common minimum standards across the EU for the protection of people reporting a breach.
Laws on whistleblowing are currently handled by individual EU Member States, resulting in major differences in legislation across countries. The European Commission note that currently only ten of its member countries – France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Sweden and the UK – have a comprehensive law protecting whistleblowers.
VinciWorks has created a comprehensive whistleblowing guide that elaborates on the objectives, regulatory scope and practical consequences of the Directive.
What’s in the guide?
Who can be a reporting person and who is protected?
Which time period can a report relate to?
What are the conditions of protection for reporting persons?
What are the methods and requirements for internal and external reporting?
What is the duty of confidentiality for internal and external reporting?
What support should be available for reporting persons?
The Fifth Money Laundering Directive has been passed. Here’s what you need to know
It may feel like the Fourth Money Laundering Directive has only recently been implemented into national law around the EU, but on 19 April 2018, the European Parliament announced it had adopted the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive. On 19 June 2018 the final text was published. EU members will have 18 months to transpose the Fifth Directive into national law. However, some countries have already done so.
Despite the legal requirement, health and safety training, risk assessments and compliance have a bad reputation. Most people working in an office don’t want to do them and won’t think about these processes once they are completed.
In order to help organisations understand the importance of health and safety at work and improving the culture, in this webinar, VinciWorks’ Director of Course Development Nick Henderson was joined by Professor Andrew Sharman, Managing Partner of RMS, and President of IOSH (the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health). Professor Sharman called on his over two decades of experience in consulting with FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies such as Amazon, Coca-Cola, Carlsberg, IKEA and Mercedes-Benz to discuss some of the key trends in workplace health and safety and give guidance on improving health and safety culture at work.
To help businesses keep track of updates in UK legislation and policies, VinciWorks regularly publishes a short regulatory update. Since our last update in July, the Prime Minister was unable to fulfill his pledge to take the UK out of the EU by the end of October 2019. As a result, a general election was called for 12 December 2019.
This 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. In this election special, the regulatory agenda will focus on the compliance-related manifesto commitments of the main parties.
Parliament was dissolved on 6 November 2019, so there is currently no legislation in progress. However, government consultations remain in progress, as do EU level developments.
This special edition of the Regulatory agenda will cover the following:
Manifesto commitments from key parties
Current open consultations
You can download this special edition of the regulatory agenda here.
The SRA Handbook was replaced by the SRA Standards and Regulations on 25 November 2019. 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 that 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.
VinciWorks has released a new whistleblowing course. Whistleblowing: Understand Your Rights provides a comprehensive overview of whistleblower rights within the UK. The aim of the course is to improve the culture in every organisation so that employees feel comfortable whistleblowing where necessary.
It might sound like a Daily Mail headline, but don’t dismiss this as political correctness gone mad just yet. Your company Christmas cards could very well result in a data protection violation.
Santa Claus checks his list twice, and so should you. Keeping marketing lists up to date is vital for GDPR compliance and sending out the annual Christmas card is no different than any other mass mailing. Are there people on the list who’ve objected to receiving marketing information, or former customers your business hasn’t dealt with in years? Strike them off. The last thing you’ll need in the new year is a flurry of data protection complaints.
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) provides protection for whistleblowers. Under PIDA, employees who make “protected disclosures” can claim unfair dismissal if their contracts are terminated due to the disclosures. Further, the EU Commission has recently announced a new law that aims to increase protections for whistleblowers.
In this webinar, we were joined by the EU Commission’s Policy Officer Maria Mollica to share guidance and insights on the upcoming EU Whistleblowing Directive. We also shared guidance on complying with existing UK whistleblowing law.
The webinar will cover:
Whistleblowing regulations in the UK
The key differences between the UK law and the EU Directive
The purpose and reach of the EU Directive
The categories protected by the EU Directive
Who can be a Reporting Person?
The procedures for internal and external reporting and recommended reporting methods