The changes are aimed at consumer protection, disclosure and accountability. Some of the changes come off the back of the Financial Services Royal Commission but there is a focus on corporate culture across the board and most of the new laws affect businesses operating in every sector. The report found businesses are grappling with increasingly complex regulations including new whistleblower protections, a requirement for modern slavery statements, the nascent notifiable data breach regime and the emerging climate change disclosure framework.
The report found there is a renewed focus by regulators on achieving enforcement outcomes and holding corporate entities criminally responsible. Large increases to penalties and increased enforcement action by regulators are common themes across all areas of regulation. There are significantly increased penalties for corporate misconduct, privacy breaches, workplace safety and consumer law breaches.
Most importantly, Regulatory Trends 2019 found those businesses that can build resilience to the changing regulatory landscape will have a real market advantage.