Business compliance laws are extremely changeable and malleable, and this offers both benefits and drawbacks to commercial ventures depending on the prevailing economic climate. The evolutionary nature of these laws and the world around them does make it difficult for business-owners to keep track, however, which explains the recent decision of leading technology firm IBM to implement on-site software that has been designed to enhance legal compliance and the relationships that exist between enterprises and third-party partners.
The EU is a key driver of these changes, as its legislation has an impact on a huge number of companies and private ventures throughout Europe. The latest example of this is the EU's decision to support a campaign for more stringent data protection rights, which will restrict large corporations when using personal consumer information to develop, market or sell their products and services. This may ultimately see an overhaul of the EU's 20 year old data protection laws, which in turn will demand full compliance from associated business owners.
With this in mind, it is worth addressing the most important compliance laws that businesses must adhere to in 2014. Consider the following examples of legislation:
1. The Biocidal Products Directive
Another example of changeable EU law lies with the new Biocidal Products directive, which was applied on September 1st 2013 and replaced a previous incarnation. It has been designed to harmonise and safeguard the European market for all chemical substances and microorganisms, which are commonly used in medicine, agriculture, forestry and additional industries. Under the revised terms of this law, all biocidal products require a classification and authorisation before they can be distributed, while every active substance contained in these must also be officially approved. The legislation also requires the submission and evaluation of data concerning the ingredients and substances in question, which must be completed within a stringent time frame and include precise toxicology information for the protection of humans, animals and the natural environment.
2. New Eco-Design and Energy Labelling Legislation
The drive to protect the natural environment influences many contemporary EU and compliance laws, especially in terms of promoting energy efficient design and performance. In September of this year, manufacturers will be required to comply with new Eco-Design legislation that restricts consumption and forces products to carry precise data concerning their environmental performance. In conjunction with new energy labelling laws, this will subsequently force product manufacturers to reduce the wattage output of their individual designs and afford each an energy rating which is displayed on clearly visible labels. Businesses that fail to comply may see their products removed from the marketplace, regardless of the level of investment that has gone into their initial design.
3. Compliance when Employing Foreign Nationals
Thanks to the advent of technological innovation and remote communication tools, modern businesses are able to recruit staff from a global pool of talent. For any company that is motivated to employ skilled foreign nationals, however, it is imperative that they comply with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act of 2006. This states that it is illegal for a company to employ anyone who does not have valid documentation or the necessary authority to work within a specific territory. This legislation was adapted in 2008 to include more stringent penalties, which means that non-compliant firms now face potentially harsh financial and logistical punishments. Above all else, it is your duty as an employer to check that all employees on fixed term, temporary or permanent contracts have the legal right to work in the country and the necessary documentation (such as a passport) to support this right.
This information was shared by Bibra -Toxicology Advice & Consulting