In recent years, UK businesses have faced several significant regulatory changes.
From GDPR impacting how companies share and collect consumer data to global changes relating to trading with the EU, many companies have struggled to maintain regulatory compliance.
A large part of navigating these trends is being able to identify vulnerable consumers. These are members of the market who are particularly at risk of exploitation or financial harm. Aside from an ethical obligation to these consumers, it’s an essential consideration for ensuring legal and regulatory adherence.
So, to meet the needs of vulnerable consumers, businesses need to be aware of how to identify, respond and monitor interactions with vulnerable clientele. Yet, with so many legal changes across different sectors, this presents an array of fresh challenges for many businesses. Not least because, as one recent report notes, as many as 70% of companies feel they lack the resources and budget to meet their legal obligations.
That’s why Business Companion has compiled free regulatory guidance to help businesses navigate their relationship with vulnerable consumers. We’re a government-backed website offering up-to-date, relevant materials for different sectors on how to best protect these customers and stay compliant. For instance, we provide straightforward-to-understand information on the legal requirements businesses need to meet and how to achieve them.
Companies will find a wealth of resources, including checklists and explainer videos on meeting the minimum standards set by the law. As well as further steps to take to exceed these provisions.
More specifically, we can help businesses to:
- Understand different types of consumer vulnerability
- Accommodate vulnerable consumers
- Understand the areas where vulnerable consumers are at risk
By acting in the best interest of vulnerable consumers, businesses are better positioned to protect themselves against compliance issues. This topic is especially prevalent, as illustrated by the following facts:
- More than 14 million UK residents have a disability of some kind.
- As many as one in six adults live with mental health problems each week.
- One million consumers in the UK are affected by dementia.
So, understanding these issues and how to respond isn’t only a legal and ethical obligation, but it’s also good business practice. As you can see, vulnerable consumers comprise a substantial section of the market. As a result, recognising and reacting to these vulnerabilities will help you establish good relationships with consumers and protect your business’ reputation. This is all the more true if you trade in the distribution of potentially dangerous products or provide critical services to at-risk groups.
That said, meeting compliance standards in this ever-changing political climate can feel intimidating. However, with a firm understanding of trading law, you’ll soon meet compliance measures efficiently and confidently.
To access the guidance, click here.
Business Companion is a free online information resource operated by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) with the support of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It hosts a wealth of information for businesses across a wide variety of sectors, providing accurate, reliable and up-to-date guidance on numerous aspects of consumer law.