Business regulation - the power of the brand

Business regulation - the power of the brand


Author: Ron Reid

Applies to: UK wide

There is a growing trend for naming and shaming rather than criminal penalties. Is the future of compliance self-regulation, for fear of reputational damage?

The draft regulations on gender pay reporting requirements for large organisations are set to continue the trend for self-regulated compliance rather than imposition of criminal penalties.

The government has indicated that it will publicise the identity of organisations who haven't complied with the regulations. For more information about how to comply click here.

The approach continues the trend of a willingness to name and shame non-compliant organisations. For example, a large retail brand attracted press attention for not paying the minimum wage to its employees, whilst chains in the restaurant industry were criticised for failing to pass tips left by customers to employees.

The implementation of the Modern Slavery Act Transparency in Supply Chains obligation continues the trend. The government indicated that it would name and shame those who failed to comply - a theme taken up by Kevin Hyland OBE, the new Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

The consequence of a culture where businesses are named and shamed for perceived non-compliance by consumers, stakeholders and investors is a real risk to brand. There is a fine line between compliance because it is the right thing to do and compliance to gain perceived commercial advantage.

The race to the top to drive up standards should allow people to adopt a culture where compliance goes hand in hand with corporate responsibility. Ultimately, the risk to brand will be the driving force.


This document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given.

About the author

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Ronald Reid


03700 868471

Ron is a consultant with Shoosmiths having previously headed the regulatory & compliance team advising clients on non contentious matters as well as those facing investigation or prosecution for breaches of regulatory legislation. He has considerable experience of crisis management. He has over 40 years' experience including having prosecuted complex matters on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive giving him considerable insight into the enforcement process and the major causes of prosecution.

Ron also formed part The Law Society Steering Group on the Modern Slavery Act practice note and spoke alongside Kevin Hyland, OBE, at the Law Society on the 6th December 2016.

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