25 Mar ASIC HITS BACK AT CONTINUOUS DISCLOSURE CHANGES; BOARD DIVERSITY OFF TO A STRONG START IN 2021
Welcome to this week’s business and media intelligence update, with insights collected by the Cannings team over the past seven days.
ASIC HITS BACK AT CONTINUOUS DISCLOSURE CHANGES
- Alarm bells were rung at a Senate Estimates hearing on Thursday, as ASIC commissioner Cathie Armour called out the practical realities of the Federal Government’s changes to continuous disclosure laws. ASIC is anticipating that there could be a practical impact on its appetite to commence investigations for infringement notices, with any civil action case now requiring a higher standard of proof. What’s more, the law change would also make ASIC an outlier globally, with the same high bar not in place in similar overseas jurisdictions. Read more in The AFR.
ASIC TURNS BLIND EYE TO VIRTUAL AGMS
- In similar news, online-only shareholder meetings will be condoned by the corporate regulator, despite legislation to extend the governance relief measures failing to pass the Senate last week. ASIC said their ‘no action’ position in relation to virtual AGM’s would allow “businesses to hold their meetings effectively during the ongoing pandemic where there is still uncertainty”. Read ASIC’s release here.
WHAT A YEAR OF WFH HAS DONE TO OUR RELATIONSHIPS AT WORK
- More than a year into WFH, new research from Microsoft has shown that employees and teams are becoming much more siloed and people are feeling increasingly disconnected and isolated. The annual World Trend Index also showed that a decline in our social capital can impact our productivity and innovation. But there is hope. Read more in The Harvard Business Review.
BOARD DIVERSITY OFF TO A STRONG START IN 2021
- Finally some good news for gender diversity, as a new report by the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) revealed that the rate of women being appointed to director roles in 2021 is nearing the rate of men. The Gender Diversity Report showed that in January and February 2021, women accounted for 46.7 per cent of ASX 200 board appointments and 52.3 per cent of ASX 300 board appointments. Read the report here.
PLANNING FOR THE UNEXPECTED
- A well thought out business continuity plan gives an organisation the best possible chance to survive a crisis. Organisations with inadequate or out-of-date business continuity plans or none at all, were hit by the COVID-19 crisis much worse. But who could have predicted a global pandemic? That’s why good crisis plans need to be flexible and agile, as well as updated and practiced regularly. Now is the time for businesses to invest in their future resilience. Read more in The AFR.
STRESS MANAGEMENT FOR THE BRAVE
- There’s a style of stress management growing in popularity: sitting in a barrel chest-high in ice cubes. Hypoxic breathing, combined with ice baths and cold showers, has been adopted by a cult following of extreme athletes and tech entrepreneurs, and now even “regular people”. The techniques struck a chord during the pandemic as they teach people how to tolerate extreme discomfort. We’re still yet to try it… Read more in The Wall Street Journal.
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