Gold Seal reveals biggest issues facing intermediaries in 2019

In its role as Compliance and HR specialists for the intermediary sector, Gold Seal has analysed its records to reveal the most common questions asked by Intermediaries contacting its HR and Compliance helpline services in 2019.

From an HR perspective, Performance Management was the topic that generated the most number of queries. This matter has been in first place virtually since we started the HR Helpline, so those intermediaries who experience difficulty in managing the performance of their workforce are not alone by a long shot! That is why we cover this topic extensively in our HR Essentials workshop that we conduct twice yearly in the Eastern states.

In second place, and not surprisingly, questions around managing redundancies and terminations were also prevalent. This is a reflection of the complexity of those matters, and the requirement to ensure the processes relating to them are undertaken correctly. If they are not, a claim going to the Fair Work Ombudsman is a common occurrence, so it really pays to get it right.

A court ruling drove another major topic for enquiries, that of the accrual of personal/carers leave. The discussion relating to the ruling is continuing and once settled we will of course provide an update. It did create a major topic of enquiry to the HR Helpline when the news broke.

When it comes to compliance, it will come as no surprise that the topic generating the most number of queries to the Compliance Helpline this year has been the Hayne Royal Commission and its outcomes. At a fundamental level, the questions asked most frequently on the Compliance Helpline can be traced back to the overarching requirement to provide services fairly, honestly and efficiently to clients.

The next two stand-out topics for compliance in 2019 were disclosure obligations and compliance practices for Authorised Representatives. Personal vs general advice was also up there and was an issue that resounded notably around the industry in July. Other frequent topics included FSGs and getting the content right; management of cancellations and breach reporting.

Looking ahead, 2020 is going to be a year of important legislative and regulatory changes. This will include:

an updated General Insurance Code of Practice with many changes
an updated version of the Insurance Brokers Code of Practice
changes to unfair contract terms legislation
claims as a financial service
add on insurances
product design and distribution
ASIC’s product intervention powers

Commenting on the review, Sheila Baker, Managing Director Gold Seal said, “I’m pleased we have been able to support our Intermediary clients, answering hundreds of different questions throughout the year. Going forward we anticipate a lot of change to the biggest topics when we look back on 2020. Intermediaries need to keep on top of those that will impact their business across the entire compliance, HR and education space in the next year or so. If you are not sure, please ask. Getting it right could save major headaches.”

Gold Seal has a series of articles and training courses covering the biggest topics and they can be accessed via the news section and training section of the Gold Seal website.

Editor’s notes

Gold Seal is the Australian insurance intermediary industry’s largest business management, compliance, learning and people development organisation.

Gold Seal Learning is a blend of consultancy, training and the latest in learning management systems, all specifically set up for your organisation. All solutions are designed with detailed knowledge of your business operations, developed over the years working in the industry.