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All companies have a legal obligation to comply with existing legislation – it’s the law!

Failure to comply to legal requirements can be costly in terms of fines and reputational damage if an incident occurs. So, it’s in your best interest to ensure you can identify all applicable compliance requirements.  

Most ISO’s specify a requirement to identify legal compliance requirements, and in our experience, the most effective way to do so is through the creation of a Legal Register.

Mel is joined by Sarah Ball, A QHSE Consultant here at Blackmores, to discuss how you can create your own Legal Register and keep up-to-date with changes in legislation.

You’ll learn

  • The importance of Legal Compliance
  • How to identify what legislation is applicable to you
  • What is a Legal Register?
  • How can you create a legal Register?
  • How can you keep up with changes in Legislation?

Resources

In this episode, we talk about:

[01:06] Why do you need to comply with Legislation – quite simply, it is the law! It can be very costly for you in both a financial and reputational respect.

[01:25] There is a requirement for identifying legal compliance requirements in most ISO’s i.e. ISO 45001 (Health and Safety) and ISO 14001 (Environmental)  

[02:33] A Legal Register is not a requirement of any ISO – but we find it is the most effective way of documenting and keeping track of changes in applicable legislation.

[03:05] Why is it so important to manage legal compliance? Besides the financial and reputational cost of not complying with the law – it’s a way to protect your business. The law is there for a reason and it is often times to protect individuals or communities.

[04:35] You will need to take a proactive approach to find out what legislation is applicable to you.

[05:40] How can you identify your legal obligations? Firstly, do some basic research, start by visiting reputable industry authorities as they will likely have some guidance available i.e. The HSE Website or the Legislation.gov website. There are also subscription services available that give you an overview of what may be applicable to you and notify you of any updates. Finally, you can look to a specialist consultancy to help you.  

[09:05] We do have a module on Legal Compliance available in the isologyhub!  

[10:05] Why is it important to have a legal register? You will have to keep track of a lot of legislation! By documenting it, you have full visibility and can identify any gaps. You can also assign accountability against each piece of legislation, so the responsibility can be shared and managed.

[11:40] Your brain is for thinking and processing, not remembering. By documenting information, you create a ‘second brain’ to free up your brain for more important tasks – We recommend checking out the ‘Productivity Ninja’ series of books for more helpful organisation and prioritisation tips!  

[12:28] What does a Legal Register look like? It’s typically a table of information – we use spreadsheets but any format is fine. Key columns we use identify the name of the legislation or contractual obligation, a link to the legislation, the requirements and purpose (what does this legislation mean to you?), A link to any further guidance and description of what good looks like to you i.e an example of evidence of compliance. You could include a column for accountability.

[16:00] How do you create a Legal Register? First, set up your table, next go out and find your applicable legislation, confirm and document your requirements in regard to the legislation, then assign accountability within the organisation. You may want to consult stakeholders to complete the obligations and figure out what good looks like. It is also good practice to do a legal compliance audit to ensure you are meeting obligations and identify any gaps.

[17:50] You can document other requirements in the Legal Register – this can include Service Level Agreements or even any ISO standards you’re certified to. It is advised to add any contractual requirements with customers or possibly landlords or suppliers. If you are a trade body that has a code of conduct, we recommend you include that too.

[21:00] Sarah’s top tip: When creating new processes or updating existing ones, it’s always good to look back at the Legal Register and check that any changes you’re making aren’t going to affect anything in terms of compliance.  

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