LEGAL COMPLIANCEAUDITS AND EVALUATIONS
Legal Compliance is no longer an option for organisations. It has become the duty of top management to ensure that the entityʼs labour, health, safety and environmental risks are identified and mitigated. One of the viable ways of ensuring that this is done is by conducting Legal Compliance Evaluations. A Legal Compliance Evaluation highlights any deviations, areas of non-compliance and risks in an organisation. It provides assurance to top management that sufficient internal controls are being implemented in order to mitigate legal compliance risks.
Benefits of a Legal Compliance Evaluation
The benefits of Legal Compliance Evaluations include:
- Reduction of the organisationʼs potential legal liabilities through the identification and mitigation of legal risks such as penalties, fines or in the worst case, closure.
- They ensure that organisations are compliant with regulatory and legislative requirements.
- Improvement in the functionality of the area evaluated.
- They give assurance to customers or clients that the organisation complies with legal requirements.
- A tool for ensuring that an organisation remains up to date with current legislation.
How frequently must a Legal Compliance Evaluation be conducted?
There is no specified legal requirement that prescribes the frequency of Legal Compliance Evaluations. Furthermore, certification standards such as ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 do not prescribe the frequency of Compliance Evaluations and Assessments. It is therefore up to the organisationʼs discretion to decide on the frequency of evaluations and assessments. However, it is recommended that organisations undergo compliance evaluations annually.
Environmental Legal Compliance Evaluations
Due to the reality of pollution and the deterioration of the environment, Environmental Legal Compliance Evaluations have become a necessity for organisations. Lack of compliance to environmental laws can result in cessation of operations, directives for the implementation of reasonable measures, penalties of up to R10 million and/or in the worst case 10 years imprisonment for employers.
A Legal Compliance Evaluation is an assessment of an organisationʼs performance against applicable legislation. This can be maintained through a legal register which indicates the organisationʼs environmental aspects and objectives.
WWISE offers services for the systematic management of environmental risks through the implementation of the ISO 14001 standard. Alongside the implementation of the Environmental Management System (EMS), is the need for organisations to adhere to compliance obligations. This is practically done through the Legal Compliance Evaluation. Where an organisation does not subscribe to an EMS, the voluntary Environmental Legal Compliance evaluations can be utilized as a tool for ensuring that an organisationʼs legal requirements and objectives are up to date.
The Environmental Legal Compliance Evaluation entails:
Environmental Impact Assessment
Advice on all Environmental Legal Aspects
Benefits of Environmental Legal Compliance Evaluations
- Ensuring an organisationʼs legislative compliance.
- A reduction in an organisationʼs environmental impacts.
- A reduction in waste, water and energy costs.
- Provides assurance to relevant stakeholders.
- Providing the foundation for an environmental management system (EMS) such as ISO 14001 at a later date.
Health and Safety Legal Evaluations
The Occupational Health and Safety Act places a duty on the employer to provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health of the employees. The legislative health and safety needs of an organisation can change over time. As a result, it is important for an organisation to carry out Health and Safety Evaluations on a regular basis.
“In terms of occupational injuries, there was a 12% decrease in the number of injuries, from 2 669 in 2017 to 2 350 in 2018. The Department of Mineral Resources noted some slight increases in occupational diseases, although no medical deaths were recorded. Occupational diseases decreased by 3%, from 4 632 cases in 2016 to 4 483 cases in 2017.”
Department of Mineral Resources
WWISEʼs Health and Safety Legal Evaluations are a systematic, independent and documented means of appraising an organisationʼs system and processes against the relevant Health and Safety legislation. The aim of the evaluation is to create a basis for the implementation of a Health and Safety Management System such as ISO 45001. Where an organisation does not wish to undergo certification for the ISO 45001 Management System, Health and Safety Legal Evaluations identify the organisationʼs Health and Safety measures against the Occupational Health and Safety Act and associated regulations.
Costs of poor health and safety are high as a result of:
Fatalities and disabilities
Absenteeism or sick leave
Damaged equipment associated with occupational injuries
Time and money spent on injury investigation, workplace assessments
Changes to The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) or insurance premiums, due to the incidence of injuries and occupational illnesses
Production time lost as a consequence of an event which results in injury
What are the benefits of a Legal Health and Safety Evaluation?
- The identification of Health and Safety Risks through a Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment.
- The reduction of personnel traumas and/or injury.
- Protection from punitive legal implications of non-compliance.
- Verification of compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and associated regulations.
- The interpretation of SHEQ related legislation.
Labor and Employment Law Services
South African labor and employment laws as well as relevant regulations are intricate and dynamic in nature. Therefore, it is important for organisations to stay abreast of labour legislation as it changes. WWISE ensures that an organisation is aware of the latest developments and adaptions made to labour laws and assists organisations to identify and mitigate risks associated with Non-compliance to labour law.
The following services are provided:
- Reviewing current contracts of employment, restraint of trade, employment equity.
- Reviewing company policies and procedures.
- Providing evaluation services on compliance with Labour Law and best Human Resource (HR) practice.
Business Entity Law Compliance Evaluations
WWISE assists companies to comply with business entity laws by identifying and counteracting legal risks. We provide commercial law services and legal due diligence services that are specific to the organisation and the industry. This is done by providing the following services:
Reviewing an entityʼs relevant documentation and aligning it to the requirements of the Companies Act, Close Corporations Act or the Public Finance Management Act.
Reviewing relevant documentation and aligning it to the requirements of the Close Corporations Act.
Identifying any risks associated with non-adherence to business entity laws
The companyʼs Board of Directors is responsible for compliance management. However, the Board may delegate that responsibility to management in order to ensure that the implementation of compliance is effective. The purpose of compliance consulting is to reduce an organisationʼs exposure to punitive fines and penalties, WWISE provides Compliance Consulting services. Compliance Consulting ensures that an organisation adheres to applicable regulations and provides an independent appraisal of internal processes and systems.
This is done through:
- The implementation of the compliance risk management system.
- Verification of the implementation of international best practice – King IV.
- Review of Compliance Manuals.
- Review of the Compliance Universe.
- Compliance risk management: identification, assessment, monitoring & reporting risks.
- Training, awareness & compliance culture creation.
Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997
Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995
Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998
Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 130 of 1993
Companies Act 71 of 2008
Close Corporations Act 69 of 1984
Public Finance Management Act 10 of 2009.
Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013
Income Tax Act 58 of 1962
Value-Added Tax Act, 89 of 1991
Tax Administration Act, 28 of 2011
National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act (57 of 2003), known as the NEM:PAA
National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (10 of 2004), known as the NEM:BA
National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act (39 of 2004), known as the NEM:AQA
National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act (24 of 2008), known as the NEM:ICM
National Environmental Management: Waste Act (59 of 2008), known as the NEM:WA
Occupational Health & Safety Act 85 of 1993
Occupational Health & Safety regulations: Facilities Regulations
Hazardous Chemical Substances
Hazardous Biological Agents
DraIing & Review of Legal Appointments
DraIing & Review of SHEQ related contracts
Interpretation of SHEQ related legislation