As the Insolvency Service is quite rightly vigorously pursuing those who have made fraudulent claims for help during the Covid crisis, they are likely to be scrutinising all businesses more closely.
The number of company directors convicted of criminal activity during the pandemic has risen 205% to 122 in the year to 30 September, up from just 40 for the same period to 30 September of last year. The National Audit Office has also estimated that up to 60% of Covid BBL claims could be fraudulent or defaulted on.
There are plenty of other pressures on businesses and in particular their directors in trying to return to more normal activity in the face of a disrupted supply chain, rising energy prices and recruiting difficulties.
But it is not all doom and gloom. Times like these can also be seen as an opportunity to take a close look at what your business is offering and whether it can be tweaked to better meet the current conditions, not least the climate crisis.
It also seems a good time to remind directors of the statutory duties that they need to be mindful of.
Directors’ duties are defined by:
Common law, by specific legislation such as the codification contained within the Companies Act 2006 and by general statutory compliance to other laws, including, but not limited to Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and its subsequent Regulations, the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, the Employment Act 2008 and its associated Regulations, the Competition Act 1998, the Supply and Sale of Goods Act 1994, the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulations, the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, by Anti-discrimination legislation covered by Race and Framework Directives and many more.
You can find out more about the details governing directors’ behaviour here.