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The Key to Continuous Company Compliance in Today’s Global Landscape

Learn how the latest technology revolutionizes compliance management, supporting expansion and workforce growth.

Jemima Owen-Jones
Written by Jemima Owen-Jones
December 4, 2023
Contents
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Key takeaways

  1. As businesses expand globally, they’re exposed to diverse and ever-changing regulatory environments, making compliance a moving target that requires constant attention.
  2. The complexity, direct costs, and risks associated with ever-changing legal and regulatory changes create uncertainty and instability and can stifle a company’s expansion and workforce growth.
  3. Continuous compliance helps companies avoid compliance issues, but traditional methods aren’t sustainable. Deel’s Compliance Hub supports compliance automation by actively monitoring, flagging, and providing regulatory updates and compliance insights, helping you proactively navigate the ever-changing regulatory landscape and improve your compliance efforts.

Becoming more global is critical to unlocking growth. While many businesses expect to grow domestically, huge opportunities can be found in overseas markets, allowing companies to access wider talent pools, reach new markets, and mitigate risk at home. 

According to HSBC’s 2022 Going global for growth report of 2,100 businesses in the UK, of those already operating overseas, around half (53%) say their overseas ventures are critical to their growth prospects. Moreover, the more markets in which these businesses operate, the more growth they have achieved. 

The survey also found that:

  • One in three businesses expect to expand into new markets
  • One in four expect to set up a physical presence in their target markets
  • One in five are looking for potential merger or acquisition targets as they seek to increase their international footprint

Businesses are ready to grow and increasingly recognize that international markets represent their best chance of transforming their business potential. However, while global expansion brings many benefits, it poses numerous challenges and concerns. 

Almost a third (30%) of businesses agree that launching into international markets can be difficult. 34% say that the biggest challenge lies in increased costs, while 33% warn of needing to deal with more regulation and compliance.

One day, HR and compliance teams are managing employee benefits and taxes at the local level, and the next, they’re navigating international employment laws and foreign tax regulations. Staying on top of these changes is vital for business success, but it can become overwhelming, especially when managing different types of workers across multiple countries.

Samuel Dahan, Chair of Deel Lab, Deel

Moreover, regulations and laws are constantly evolving. Governments can introduce new labor legislation, revise tax regulations, or update employment and industry standards with little notice. Failing to implement or reflect these changes in your compliance program can result in substantial fines, reputational damage, and operational setbacks. 

This article explores what continuous compliance involves, how it impacts companies’ ability to plan and execute expansion strategies and workforce growth, and how the latest technology supports continuous compliance to help businesses thrive in this increasingly global environment.

What is continuous compliance? 

Continuous compliance is the ongoing practice of maintaining compliance with legal and regulatory requirements that is proactive, ongoing, and risk-based. It involves monitoring and evaluating compliance risks, identifying and addressing compliance gaps, and implementing preventive measures to ensure ongoing compliance.

On a global scale, continuous compliance involves consistently monitoring and evaluating a company’s adherence to legal and regulatory requirements across multiple jurisdictions worldwide. This is no easy feat, particularly with many laws and compliance requirements spanning everything from employment law to data privacy and tax reporting.  

We can broadly categorize legal and regulatory compliance into the following areas:

  • Labor and employment law: Companies must comply with labor laws and regulations governing worker classification, employment contracts, onboarding, working hours, overtime pay, minimum wages, compensation bands, benefits, workplace health and safety, payroll, termination procedures, mandatory training, and anti-discrimination practices. These laws vary significantly from country to country, and businesses must comply with the specific laws applicable to their workforce in each location.
  • Tax law: Businesses must comply with tax laws and regulations governing corporate taxes, personal income taxes, value-added taxes (VAT), and other forms of taxation. Tax rates and structures vary widely across countries, and businesses must ensure they are registered for the appropriate taxes and pay them correctly in each jurisdiction
  • Data privacy and protection: Businesses that collect, store, or process personal data must comply with data privacy and protection laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the US. These laws govern how businesses can collect, use, and share personal data, and businesses must implement appropriate safeguards to protect sensitive information
  • Intellectual property (IP) law: Businesses that create or own intellectual property, such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights, must comply with IP laws. These laws protect IP rights and grant exclusive rights to the creators or owners. Businesses must take steps to protect their IP and ensure they do not infringe on the IP rights of others
  • Immigration law: Businesses that hire foreign workers to fill skills gaps, access specialized expertise, or expand their operations into new markets must comply with immigration law. This involves compliance with immigration regulations regarding visa sponsorship, eligibility and requirements, employment authorization, and work permits

 

Why traditional compliance isn’t working 

Industry advice on staying up-to-date on regulatory changes is to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars building an internal legal counsel, recruiting local legal firms, or spending hundreds of human hours managing compliance yourself, which involves:

  • Monitoring regulatory agency websites
  • Subscribing to quarterly regional legal and compliance newsletters
  • Attending compliance webinars and conferences
  • Joining industry associations

While the first approach is out of reach for many smaller-budget businesses, the do-it-yourself approach isn’t sustainable either, especially with so many legal and regulatory changes taking place across the globe every day. 

Thomson Reuters 2023 Cost of Compliance survey, which generated responses from more than 350 practitioners across the US, the EU, and the UK, identified 61,228 regulatory events across 190 countries in 2022. This figure translates to an average of 234 daily alerts. The figures signify the sheer volume of regulations companies need to cope with and the rapid pace at which they change.

The survey also found that: 
  • Almost two-thirds (62%) of respondents reported that in an average week, they spend between 1 and 7 hours tracking and analyzing regulatory developments
  • The volume of regulatory change is expected to increase, and this was seen as a compliance challenge for both corporate boards and compliance officers
  • One-third of respondents said they expected compliance teams to grow; the overall cost of compliance staff was expected to increase despite staff turnover and budgets remaining at 2022 levels. Respondents also reported an increase in the number of firms using outsourced providers for their compliance functionality
  • Low staff morale is emerging as a conduct risk for many firms, which may lead to more widespread non-compliance due to staff error or manipulation

The complexity, direct costs, and risks associated with ever-changing legal and regulatory changes create uncertainty and instability, making it difficult for businesses to plan for the future and make long-term investments. This can stifle a company’s expansion and workforce growth.

Samuel Dahan, Chair of Deel Lab, Deel

Until now, no HR or compliance platform has provided a solution to continuous compliance. 

Unlock continuous compliance with Deel’s Compliance Hub

Deel’s Compliance Hub is the first-of-its-kind solution for continuous compliance. The one-stop-shop takes compliance to a whole new level by actively monitoring, flagging, and providing regulatory updates and compliance insights, helping you adopt a proactive approach to navigating the ever-changing regulatory landscape. 

The Compliance Hub has three powerful features to help streamline continuous global compliance, mitigating more risk than any other provider. These include: 

Workforce Insights: By analyzing your worker data and the latest compliance developments, the compliance monitor generates monthly workforce insights reports that proactively alert you to misclassification risks and vulnerabilities, such as expiring visas and noncompliance with employment laws such as minimum wage, benefits, and more—all tailored to the unique concerns of your business. The Workforce Insights is accessible on-platform and delivered to your email monthly.

The Compliance Monitor: Instead of conducting time-consuming compliance audits and risk assessments to identify and address potential compliance gaps, the compliance monitor uses automation to help you navigate the ever-changing compliance landscape. The tool automates your compliance processes, proactively scanning, collecting, and explaining the latest regulatory changes globally, covering areas such as wages, pensions, private insurance, leave changes, tax obligations, and more across 150 countries. The monitor uses simplified language to provide concise summaries of the impact on your business so you can take action quickly.

The AI-based Worker Classifier: Unlike other more basic tools, our AI-based worker classifier uses award-winning research into localized employment count cases to classify your workers with over 90% accuracy, putting you in control of misclassification risk management. This makes navigating the onboarding process for new hires straightforward and compliant. Answer a few questions, and you’ll receive an indication of the worker’s classification using relevant local laws and precedent legal cases.

Deel is the only platform on the market that uses continuous monitoring to provide real-time compliance alerts for 150 countries, enabling you to stay aware of your compliance status while you confidently hire and manage workers across the globe. 

💡 Deel’s compliance framework is SOC2 compliant and undergoes annual third-party audits to mitigate security gaps, and meet global compliance standards. In addition, we’ve built our entire information security program on the globally recognized framework, ISO 27001.

Ready to put continuous global compliance on autopilot? Book a call with a compliance expert to see how Deel can take more risk off your plate than any other provider. 

Next steps 

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