Monthly Archives: April 2017

Brexit or no Brexit, GDPR is on its way

Britain leaving EU

Despite Brexit, GDPR will still apply to UK companies

A recent study found that 24% of UK businesses have put their preparation for GDPR on hold ahead of the country’s upcoming exit from the EU. However, the UK’s information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, has insisted that UK companies should continue to prepare for GDPR, urging “I don’t think Brexit should mean Brexit when it comes to standards of data protection.” She points out how the UK was heavily involved in the drafting of GDPR and even in the case of a hard Brexit, meaning leaving the EU without any deal, the UK will need to maintain strict data protection regulations and comply with GDPR.

Brexit does not mean the end of  data protection laws

The mistake many businesses are making is assuming that Brexit will have an influence on data protection regulations in the UK. Halting preparations for GDPR would be a mistake. Here are four reasons why organisations should continue and indeed step up their efforts to comply with GDPR.
Continue reading

Criminal Finances Bill passes through parliament – awaits Royal Assent

The House of Lords rushed through the reporting state and third reading of the Criminal Finances Bill on 25 April and sent the bill back to the Commons to ratify a few minor amendments. The Commons quickly passed the amendments in 26 April. In introducing the bill, Baroness Williams of Trafford said:

Following the decision last week to call a general election, this is likely to be the last opportunity for the House to scrutinise this legislation. As noble Lords have said, it has had cross-party support throughout its parliamentary passage and I am very grateful to noble Lords, through the usual channels, for enabling us to take both Report and Third Reading today. Time is very short, but we all agree that this Bill will deliver valuable powers to fight money laundering, prevent the financing of terrorism and combat corruption. I hope we can maintain consensus on the way forward and return the Bill swiftly to the Commons.

The bill did in fact pass swiftly through the lords, amendments 6 to 12, 15 to 19 and 25 to 50 were agreed to, and the House of Commons will consider those amendments today (26 April). The cross-party amendment to require a register of the beneficial ownership of companies based in UK overseas territories like Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands did not pass. The lords felt that this issue should be debated again by the next parliament.

Timeline for implementation

The Bill 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.

Anti-Money Laundering courses now fully compliant with Fourth Money Laundering Directive

 VinciWorks’ updated anti-money laundering courses

The Fourth Money Laundering Directive will be implemented by the end of June 2017. To reflect the changes under The Fourth Directive, VinciWorks has updated all of its courses accordingly. Here are three Anti-Money Laundering courses that have been updated.

Anti-Money Laundering

This course has been designed to teach you anti-money laundering best practices and procedures, as defined by 14 of the world’s leading law firms and in line with the Practice Note that has been drawn up by The Law Society of England and Wales and applicable legislation in the UK and other jurisdictions. Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to understand how to comply with all critical statutory requirements and will be able to play their part in the fight against money laundering. The basic anti-money laundering course is available in three versions: advanced, fundamentals and global.
Continue reading

SRA Policy Executive Richard Williams — “large and small firms face the same challenges”

On Wednesday 22nd March, around 100 firms joined Director of Best Practice Gary Yantin and SRA Policy Executive Richard Williams to discuss the first five months of the SRA’s new approach to Continuing Competence. The conversation focused on how firms have implemented the new approach and how the SRA will monitor compliance with it.

“Firms should be asking: what do I need to do to do the job well?”

Richard stressed the importance of focussing on the quality of learning, rather than the quantity. He reflected on the previous approach to CPD, whereby solicitors and law firms would often leave training to the last minute, without a focus on what they should be learning. The new approach should help change that culture and encourage individuals to identify their learning needs, rather than the amount of time they spend on training. Richard also said that “learning and development has a huge business benefit”, a factor that should encourage firms to implement the new approach.
Continue reading

How are organisations customising their modern slavery training?

VinciWorks’ suite of training on modern slavery now includes three courses:

Like all VinciWorks courses, the modern slavery courses can be fully customised to:

  • Fit internal procedures
  • Adhere to internal style
  • Include extra relevant information

In fact, every word of the courses can easily be customised.

Below are examples of the four most common customisation requests that we have collected in order to help organisations better understand best-practice for customisation.

1. Opening quote

The course Modern Slavery: Prevention Exploitation features a quote by Theresa May underscoring the severity of modern slavery. Many firms have replaced this quote with a quote or letter from an executive that reiterates the organisation’s commitment to combating slavery.

This quote sets the tone for the course and conveys the deep responsibility that all staff should feel towards the issue.
Continue reading

Criminal Finances Bill Update – what are your reasonable procedures?

Individual being handcuffed for facilitating tax evasion

The Criminal Finances Bill, the government’s attempt to call time on the sunny shores of tax evasion, is due to pass through its final stages in the Lords at the end of April. There is some debate as to whether the bill will actually pass before parliament is dissolved. Jason Collins, a tax expert at Pinsent Masons believes that it will, while Osborne Clarke believes that it will not.

Update: the Bill received royal assent on 27th April to become the Criminal Finances Act.

If it does pass, it will come into force by the end of September 2017.

The most significant part is the new offence of corporate failure to prevent tax evasion, both in the UK and overseas.

The Bill will effectively make a business vicariously liable for the criminal acts of its employees and other persons ‘associated’ with it leading to the facilitation of tax evasion, even if the senior management of the business was not involved or aware of what was going on. This is true wherever in the world the tax is owed, and the Bill targets businesses based in the UK or abroad.
Continue reading

Modern Slavery: who needs to train on what?

Symbol for modern slavery courseThe UK’s Modern Slavery Act is changing the landscape of how companies deal with the risk of modern slavery in their supply chains. While the requirement to issue a modern slavery and human trafficking report only applies to companies with a global turnover greater than £36m, businesses of all sizes are getting ahead of the curve and introducing comprehensive anti-slavery and anti-trafficking policies across their supply chain.

VinciWorks has created a suite of training and compliance materials to assist businesses of all types and sizes to comply with their legal obligations and help them to identify and end instances of slavery in their supply chain.
Continue reading

Criminal Finances Bill: Will they or won’t they?

Will the new tax evasion offences make it through before Parliament is dissolved?

Theresa May called an election yesterday. Parliament will most likely vote to hold one today, and in less than two weeks, by 2nd May, according to the Leader of the House of Commons, Parliament will be dissolved and the country will head towards polling day on 8th June.

It’s taken everyone by surprise, not least those of us in the compliance space who were carefully preparing for the Criminal Finances Bill and the introduction of two new offences to tackle tax evasion.

The Criminal FInances Bill had already worked its way through most parliamentary stages. It was due to be considered by the Lords at report stage on 25th April, prior to its third reading in the Lords, scheduled for the 3rd and 8th of May, and then Royal Assent sometime after that. The least we know is that timetable has gone out the window.
Continue reading

New course: Cyber Security for Kitchen Appliances

Ghost hovering over a kettle

Is your kettle spying on you?

Research from the Association of Public Registered Information Lawyers has shown that 70% of all cyber security failings happen because of unsecured kitchen appliances in the workplace.

Even though VinciWorks has helped to change the landscape of compliance training for human staff with Cyber Security: Practical Applications, the era of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart products has led to a new frontier in the cyber wars: the office kitchen.

Cyber Security for Kitchen Appliances is the brand new course from VinciWorks to keep your office, your data and your tea break safe and secure.
Continue reading