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The Importance of Secretarial and Legal Compliance in the Workplace

Secretarial and Legal Compliance

The role of secretarial and legal compliance in the workplace cannot be underplayed. The secretarial function has been said to be the gate keeper of corporate governance. As the gate keeper, the secretarial function is responsible for the efficient administration of a board, ensuring legal compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements and for ensuring that decisions of the board are implemented. Corporate governance is necessary for all types of entities whether businesses or not for profit organizations and whether big or small entities.

Good corporate governance ensures that an organization operates in an efficient and compliant manner by creating policies and procedures which the management of an organization are required to implement. As the gate keeper the secretarial function ensures that the policies and procedures that are created by a board are efficient and in line with the law. The secretarial function reports to both the board and to management. Therefore, the secretarial function is able to guide the board on what directions policies and procedures for the organization should take as they are able to advise whether the policies and procedures being implemented by management are effective. This position is supported by section 83 of the Companies Act no. 10 of 2017 (the “Companies Act”) which lists the duties of a company secretary as follows:

  • providing the directors, collectively and individually, with guidance as to their duties, responsibilities and powers;
  • informing the board of directors on—
    • legislation relevant to or affecting the meetings of members and the board;
    • the reports relating to the operations of the company; and
    • submission of documents to relevant authorities, as required by statute, as well as the implications of failure to comply with such requirement;
  • ensuring that minutes of the members’ meetings and of the meetings of the board of directors are properly recorded and registers are properly maintained;
  • ensuring that the company maintains and updates information on the beneficial ownership of all the shares of the company and their associated voting rights;
  • ensuring that the company is in compliance with the Companies Act in relation to lodging of documents with the Registrar; and
  • bringing to the attention of the board of directors any failure on the part of the company or a director to comply with the articles or the Companies Act.

As already stated above and as seen by the duties provided in the Companies Act, the secretarial function ensures that the business is legally compliant. Compliance ensures that an organization is run in a smooth manner in that it prevents legal liabilities. Compliance refers to ensuring that an organization adheres to all legal requirements. Examples of compliance include obtaining the necessary licenses, ensuring licenses are renewed, paying taxes, submitting necessary filings, ensuring adherence to labor laws and other laws that affect the company. Failure to comply with legal requirements can result in legal issues and has an influence on how a business is perceived.

The secretarial function ensures compliance which in turn results in the board operating in the best interest of its stakeholders. Some of the stakeholders include customers, shareholders, investors and employees of the organization. When it comes to the workplace, the key stakeholders are the employees. Employees are an organization’s biggest asset and putting policies in place that are in the interests of the employees will result in a more productive workforce which will in turn result in higher productivity for the organization.

The secretarial function is a major time-consuming role as it requires regular updates and monitoring of changes in the law. As Bellmac we are able to take up this role for organizations in order to ensure that businesses have effective boards which will ultimately result in successful businesses and growth of the economy at large. To make it easy for this companies to execute this function well, the Companies Act allows for the secretarial function to be handled by a body corporate.

Contact us today for questions on how you can make your board effective.