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24 April 2018 / article

Compliance Handbook

Compliance has become a hot topic in today’s business conduct. Politicians, regulatory authorities, stakeholders and customers increasingly focus on the way companies deal with legislation and regulations. Companies should therefore take measures to prevent infringements of the applicable legislation and regulations occurring within the organisation.

It is extremely important for a company to convey which standards and values apply within the organisation and to provide employees with guidelines instructing them on how they could or indeed should behave in certain circumstances. These standards and values could for example be laid down in a company’s code of conduct or in a comprehensive compliance programme incorporating wide-ranging measures to prevent infringements of legislation and regulations by employees and senior management.

In practice it turns out that it is particularly advisable to put compliance measures in place in the following areas of law: (i) privacy & data protection, (ii) corporate income tax law (iii) employment law, (iv) competition law, (v) export controls and sanctions, and (vi) corporate law

Any activity or transaction that infringes the applicable statutory rules and standards and values (in other words: unethical behaviour) is extremely damaging and cannot be tolerated. The risks of unethical behaviour include:

  1. sanctions (including fines and prison sentences) for non-compliance with the applicable legislation and regulations;
  2. claims for damages by injured parties;
  3. exclusion from contracts and invitations to tender as a consequence of non-compliance with legislation and regulations; and
  4. reputational damage and adverse publicity.

Adequate structuring of business operations is only possible if the risks that are involved in the day-to-day business activities of your company have been identified and listed correctly. In order to avoid exposure to sanctions and measures, this handbook includes per area of law common pitfalls or misunderstandings that can help you as a first step to identify the non-compliance risks your company might be exposed to.



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