Compliance is a big part of running any ethical and sustainable business. It’s important for the business, for the industry and for the customers that a business adheres to regulations, since to not follow them would have long lasting consequences for all three.

But 2022 is a whole new climate, a new landscape with new problems to deal with, so, with that in mind, we’re looking at the areas where compliance officers need to keep a particularly shrewd eye on.

Individual accountability

The idea of who is to blame for any given indiscretion is changing. People are more informed, and doing their research on companies, and baying for justice where the courts can’t offer any. All this adds up to a shifting of who is to be held accountable when something goes wrong. Even, or especially, people in the most senior levels of companies are being held to account.

Depending on the indiscretion, a low-level staff member, a senior manager, or a company as a whole can be held responsible for a problem. On the lower levels you’ve got people getting fired for posting hate speech, higher up you’ve got senior managers stepping down for manipulating college admissions and company wide you’ve got issues like Instagram’s encouragement of eating disorders.

Deciding who needs to be punished for what can be difficult. Do too little and the public will demand something more but do too much and you could put your business in jeopardy by losing a valuable asset. If you need expert advice on compliance solution, take a look at Neopay.

Vulnerable customers

Looking after your customers is nothing new, but it’s becoming more readily enforced. Businesses are becoming more aware of just how many disabled customers they have, how many minority customers they have, how many LGBT customers they have, and that discriminating against a group so large could affect business reputations and their overall profits.

Compliance officers will need to be aware of what could be considered discrimination, and furthermore, put forward ways to welcome these communities for a sustainable business model.

Hybrid working

But that handles the customer side of things. There is also the discrimination against your employees, and that has a new face: working from home.

There are the compliance issues around hybrid working itself. If you are going to allow flexible work schedules, you have to ensure that these new establishments don’t impede existing regulations, for example, around cybersecurity and workplace discrimination.

There are a lot of reasons that working from home has taken off, but one is to better balance being a parent and a staff member, which means that you could be considered discriminatory for refusing to offer working from home, at least on a hybrid level, to your employees.

Climate risk reporting

Climate risk is a unique financial risk and one of the biggest hurdles that businesses are going to face in the far future. Not only will climate change affect every business in various ways with its run-on effects on the consumer and manufacturing, but there is likely to be a lot of new regulations and rules to adhere to as time goes on.

Political pressure to enforce more eco-friendly practices is rising, and politicians are finally acting. The public and the politicians know that big businesses that are polluting the land is the biggest suspect in climate change, and for drastic change to be possible, it will have to come from the top down. Expect to get involved in reworking daily operations, using more eco-friendly materials, and putting less pollution in the air when consulting with your compliance officer.

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