Can you afford to risk it?

As part of a heavily legislated industry with an ever changing regulatory landscape, sustaining the drive for good governance can be lost in the overwhelming expectations and requirements placed upon us. Maintaining a strong and defined focus on regulatory compliance is essential for the long term viability of your business.

Are you confident that your club is compliant with the following major regulatory areas?

  • Anti-Money Laundering / Counter Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF);
  •  Work Health and Safety;
  •  Food Safety;
  • Fire Safety; and
  • Human Resources Management.

The importance of maintaining compliance under current legislative requirements cannot be understated. While balancing the various and competing demands of these regulatory accountabilities with your existing stakeholder commitments and business needs is difficult and time consuming — the alternative could be far worse.

It’s becoming all too commonplace in industry news; articles about businesses faced with large penalties, and infringements from breaches in regulatory requirements ranging from workers getting injured due to negligence, to non-conformance relating to AML/CTF Program, as well as kitchen closures and improvement notices stemming from poor food safety standards. The list could go on.

Below are just some of the recent issues you may be familiar with:

  • Directives issued to an ACT Club by AUSTRAC, as a result of an ineffective and poorly implemented AML/CTF Program that is likely to cost them more than $20,000 to discharge;
  • Enforceable undertakings issued due to the ineffectual management and implementation of plant and equipment and safety management systems ranging anywhere for $4,500 to $87,000.
  • Food recalls on frozen berries and eggs after sale by the manufacturer and the impact therein on brand power and affected clubs and pubs throughout Australia;
  • The cancellation of 15 Food Business Licences and the issue of over $435,000 in fines in the Brisbane City alone, due to cleanliness, maintenance and pest control issues;
  • Heavy hits to a business’ cashflow arising from a back-payment of wages following the inaccurate application of award provisions; and
  • Changes to the National Minimum Wage and impact on pay and conditions for staff.

So … How at risk are you?

Do you have an effective AML/CTF Program in place?
Is it up-to-date with current legislative requirements? How effective is your Clubs implementation of this program? When was the last time you had your program reviewed by an independent third party? Are you confident in your ability to pass an AUSTRAC inspection?

Do you have adequate safety systems in place?
Are your workers aware of those WHS policies and procedures implemented by the business? Are you discharging your duties to provide a safe work environment and safe systems of work?

What about your food safety procedures?
If a manufacturer recalled a food product used in your food service operation, do you have adequate procedures in place to track where that food may have been served, and know what to do with this recalled food product? How well would you rate if audited by your local council? Does your business have food safety monitoring procedures in place? What about schedules and procedures for cleaning and sanitising? Do you currently have a Food Safety Supervisor and adequate training systems in place to ensure the food you produce is safe?

Are you sure you are offering fair pay?
As a major cost for any business do you accurately interpret and apply award provisions when calculating pay and conditions? Would your systems and process stand up under review by the Fair Work Ombudsman or Fair Work Commission? Are there ways for you to work smarter using award provisions to create efficiencies in the workplace?

Managing the day to day operations of your business is hard enough without having to deal with the legislative mine field illustrated above! Combined with a successful prosecution of an Officer(s) and/or the issue of an improvement or prohibition notice, your day to day operations can be seriously impacted.

Do you have the time or money to deal with seeking external advice in response, the ability to implement directives in a timely manner? Are you equipped with the ability to deliver training to remedy the issues and pay the fines, all while dealing with infringements, not to mention the detrimental effect this could have on your brand and reputation.

Don’t wait until it’s too late, it’s always best practice to be proactive, not reactive, when it comes to compliance.

If it’s time for a comprehensive review of your club’s regulatory compliance, be sure to contact DWS Safety & Compliance. As the industry leaders in safety and compliance support, we can deliver a tailored package to suit your specific needs — email one of our experienced consultants at safety@dws.net.au, or call 07 3878 9355.

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