As the economy becomes increasingly complex and unpredictable, businesses continue to face serious legal risks. According to a report from Borden Ladner Gervais, Top 10 Legal Risks for Business in 2018, this year is no exception. The following are a few risks highlighted in the report that organizations should be aware of:
- Cyber compliance. In 2017, the government published proposed regulations regarding the reporting of privacy breaches under the Digital Privacy Act, which amended the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act in 2015. Among other strict rules, the regulations require companies to create and maintain a record of every personal information security breach, and provide those records to the Privacy Commissioner on request. Non-compliance with these rules could result in fines. These regulations are expected to be finalized in 2018.
- Cannabis Act enforcement. The Cannabis Act is expected to come into force by July 2018, creating a number of highly disruptive and uncertain changes. Employers must meet with their legal counsel and communicate their current workplace polices on drug and alcohol use to employees. Doing so will help employers better understand the implications of the Cannabis Act and how it will impact business as a whole.
- Tax rates. Increases to marginal income tax rates place businesses at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to attracting skilled labour and investing. In addition, recent proposals from the Department of Finance could adversely affect after-tax financial results for private companies.
- Sexual harassment. There were a number of high-profile sexual harassment cases in 2017. Because of this, in 2018, experts expect a continued focus on how employers address sexual harassment in the workplace. Above all, employers should review their harassment-related policies and procedures to ensure they meet applicable legal obligations.
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