New legislation to prepare for in 2017

Keeping up with new legislative requirements and recommendations is hard in any industry, and it seems that for credit management professionals, it is particularly difficult because things change so quickly.

Credit management legislation

We are already halfway in the second quarter of 2017. In case the past months might not have left you with much time to keep up with what lawmakers have been up to, here are three new bits of legislation that you’ll want to start preparing for as soon as possible:

The Apprenticeship Levy

According to the government’s reformed apprenticeships initiative, there is a compulsory levy for companies with a payroll of £3 million or more. However, eligible businesses can turn the tax into an investment, using it to give more support to your team.

For example, in the debt collection industry, levy-paying firms can choose from a number of specific apprenticeship standards, which have been created by the Credit Services Association (CSA).

Peter Wallwork, CEO of the CSA, explains that these range from the new standard in Financial Services Credit Controller/Collector, through to the most advanced Senior Compliance/Risk Specialist Apprentice standard.

He says that these standards serve as a “very tangible illustration of the broad nature of the training now available. It also serves to show how debt collection can provide a challenging and fulfilling career to those who may think otherwise!”

Persistent misuse

From March 1st, Ofcom’s new ‘persistent misuse’ policy comes into force. The policy describes how the UK communications industries regulator can take action against those that persistently misuse electronic communications networks or services.

For those in the credit and collections industries, the main focus in this policy is the problem of silent and abandoned telephone calls, and Ofcom will prioritize enforcement action when forms of misuse cause “significant consumer harm.”

Mr Wallwork says the CSA is encouraging members and their clients to “engage with each other to discuss expectations around abandoned call rates, dialer strategies and their approach to compliance with the statement of policy.”

Data protection

The new General Data Protection Regulation doesn’t come into force until early next year, but firms need to start preparing for it now.

This is a piece of European legislation and will replace the Data Protection Act 1998, despite Brexit. It will affect any organization that processes personal data (including employee data) and will introduce new rights for individuals who want to access their own data and determine how it is managed.

In addition, the new regulation will introduce new obligations for reporting data protection breaches. There will be new sanctions for organizations that fail to comply with the rules, including increased rights for individuals to claim compensation.

Streamline your workflow

Here at OnGuard, we might not be able to keep you updated with new regulations but our credit management software does streamline your workload, so you have more time to deal with other things – such as getting ready for changes in legislation.

Find out more

To find out more about how we can help you organize information better, automate tasks and reduce DSO, contact us today on +31 (0)294 25 6666 or contact@onguard.com. You can also keep up to date by following us on Twitter @OnGuardHQ.

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