A Central Compliance Team Would be an Excellent Option to Avoid Missing Any Critical Compliances

Ambarish Pethkar, Head of Implementation and Audit , TeamLease RegTech speaks to India Employer Forum about compliance obligations for a retail chain and also the regulations and best practices a retail chain can adopt to ensure timely compliance.

Q. In what ways do the compliance obligations for a retail chain differ from that of any other company?

Retail chains have multiple small units spread across various geographies. This leads to the multiplication of the licensing, registrations and approval requirements. Furthermore, as employees are also scattered across multiple states, labour law requirements vary from state to state.

Q. What are the major overarching acts, rules, and regulations that regulate the retail industry?

For the retail industry, Central, State and Local laws are applicable; however, state and local laws are predominant. State laws cover the employees’ & labour-related compliances, and local laws cover the basic licensing requirements like shops & establishment registration, trade licences, fire NOCs and payment of local taxes, which are non-negotiable to operate the stores’ operations. In addition, depending upon the industry in which the retail chain operates, i.e. food, electronic appliances etc., industry-specific compliances governed at the central level will also be relevant.

Q. Can you suggest some best practices a retail chain can adopt to ensure timely compliance?

Retail chains typically have multiple units at the Pan India level, and managing the compliances is complicated. Furthermore, store managers are not legal experts who oversee all the liaisoning and compliance. Therefore, a central compliance team managing the licences, registrations, approvals, returns and registers would be an excellent option to avoid missing any critical compliances that may lead to the closure of the store operations.

Q. Can you give some examples of typical compliance obligations that are often missed/overlooked by retail businesses?

Filing of POSH Annual Return, maintenance of employee registers, display of notices and abstracts, and appropriate maintenance of fire-fighting equipment are some compliance obligations usually missed at the store level.

About Ambarish Pethkar

Ambarish Pethkar is a seasoned professional with more than 10 years of experience in the GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance) domain. Currently, he holds a leadership position at TeamLease RegTech, overseeing the implementation and audit processes. Throughout his career, Ambarish has gained extensive expertise in various aspects of GRC, having worked at reputable organisations like Sharp & Tannan among others.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Ambarish is a fellow member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), highlighting his commitment to professional development and industry knowledge. Outside of work, Ambarish has a passion for food. He also nurtures a love for driving.

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