30th June 2017 marks the next big deadline for Modern Slavery Act compliance. Organisations with a financial year-end date of 31st December are required to produce a Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement before that date.
Train your staff with our suite of courses
Since VinciWorks released its first course on modern slavery a year ago, thousands of employees and suppliers have used the course as part of their internal compliance programs.
Among the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received, many companies felt they needed a more comprehensive course for procurement teams and a shorter course for general staff. Here is the suite of courses we have created to suit the needs of an entire organisation.
1. Raise your Awareness
General staff in low risk industries
Basic overview and common signs of slavery
The government released a draft of the Money Laundering Regulations back in March 2017 outlining the proposed approach to transposing the Fourth Money Laundering Directive into UK law. On 26th June, those Regulations became law, having been rushed through Parliament.
Most of the content of the final law is the same as in the draft; the key changes we have outlined previously. However, there are a few important additions included in the final version of the Regulations that were not in the draft.
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.
Parliamentary procedure broken in order to meet today’s EU deadline
The government confirmed at the last minute the new EU Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4MLD) will come into force today (Monday) in order to meet the European deadline of transposing the 4th Directive into national legislation by 26 June 2017.
Due to the general election, the government has been forced to rush through the new rules, and will break parliamentary convention in order to do so.
The Money Laundering Regulations 2017 is a negative statutory instrument. These automatically become law without debate unless there is an objection from either House of Parliament. By convention negative statutory instruments should not come into effect until a minimum of 21 days after they are laid out. However, on Friday the government confirmed they would be breaking these rules in order to ensure that the EU deadline for transposing the Fourth Directive into national law is met.
In June, the Law Society published its first slavery and human trafficking statement under the requirements of Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act. This emphasises its call for the legal industry to be at the forefront of the fight against modern slavery. Overall, 87 law firms have published their own modern slavery statements – a good proportion of the medium to large firms that are legally required to.
Of course, while many law firms are publishing their own statements, a key part of a law firm’s work on modern slavery is to advise their clients on fulfilling their legal responsibilities. The Modern Slavery Act doesn’t require much more than the publication of a slavery and human trafficking statement, but how to prepare it, and best practice in doing so, is up to the individual relationship between lawyer and client.
How has the Law Society tackled this problem?
The Law Society set out their statement in three key parts, offering a good guide for those firms still grappling with setting out their priorities for addressing modern slavery in their supply chains.
The SRA has just published their decision and response to the ‘looking to the future’ consultation on changes to the SRA handbook. Over 11,000 people engaged in the process, reflecting opinion from a broad range of people and organisations including solicitors, law firms the public and representative bodies.
Solicitors can not only expect a shorter, simpler code, but two codes of conduct; one for individuals and one for firms.
This will allow for one of the most significant changes since, and partly because of, the Legal Services Act 2007. The changes, expected sometime in 2018, will allow solicitors to offer non-reserved legal services outside of regulated firms.
The Fourth Money Laundering Directive came into force on 26 June 2017. The new Money Laundering Regulations 2017 contain some key changes over the previous law that will take some time to implement.
VinciWorks has released a new e-learning course on tax evasion. The course will teach employees how to spot tax evaders, and the reporting procedures required of them. The training will cover the organisation’s policies and procedures, which include provisions of The Act and any other regulatory rules and principles. This includes:
- An explanation of when and how to seek advice and report any concerns or
suspicions of tax evasion or wider financial crime, including whistleblowing
- An explanation of the term ‘tax evasion’ and associated fraud
- An explanation of an employee’s duty under the law
- The penalties relating to the person and corporate entity for committing an
offence under The Act
- The social and economic effects of failing to prevent tax evasion
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 Fourth Money Laundering Directive updates and expands anti-money laundering laws across the European Union. Unlike GDPR, which will automatically come into force, updating the AML regime requires each national parliament to transpose the regulations into local law.
In the UK, this means updating the Money Laundering Regulations 2007. The government completed their consultation in April and published a draft of the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 to be laid before parliament. The EU stated that the Fourth Directive must be in force in every country by 26 June 2017.
However, the general election called by Theresa May has thrown that timetable into disarray. The new parliament won’t meet until sometime between 14 to 21 June, leaving barely days before the deadline.
Will the UK miss the deadline?
Most likely, although perhaps not by much. The draft statutory instrument has been published and is ready to be considered by parliament. Given the long lead-in time of the Fourth Directive, the consultations and lack of particularly controversial measures, even a change of government is not likely to disrupt the process too much.
Broadly, we know what the new requirements of the Fourth Directive are, and how the UK plans to implement them. While the official change won’t take place until the 2017 Regulations is law, there is every reason to think this will happen sooner rather than later.