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When legal requirements become too narrow

June 28, 2018

The innovation Norway case illustrates the importance of including market expectations and ethics in the design of internal routines and guidelines

Innovation Norway is a state-owned company that supports Norwegian enterprises and the industry in developing their competitive advantages and enhance innovation. Innovation Norway is in the media spotlight this week for having employed a 23-year-old (and relatively well known) person for a 6-month temporary position in the HR department, without having advertised the position in advance. The employee happens to be the richest woman in Norway and even though she proactively contacted the company about job opportunities, she is criticized in the media for exploiting the fact that she is rich and famous to get the job. Innovation Norway on the other hand receives criticism for not complying with recruitment rules.

Neither Innovation Norway nor the employee have broken any laws in the recruitment process.

Legally speaking, the company is not subject to the same regulations that applies to employment in the public sector in general. However, because they are a state-owned company, not advertising the position is perceived as a breach of the rules. This case illustrates the importance of including market expectations and ethics in the design of internal routines and guidelines. Legal requirements become too narrow.

A compliance function is an internal, but independent advisory and control function that help the company highlight its important risks associated with compliance. This includes compliance with laws and regulations, as well as industry standards, ethical issues and the expectations of customers, employees and other stakeholders. If the compliance function is being involved in changes in routines, guidelines, strategies, practices and systems at an early stage, it will play an important role in preventing unwanted risk and media attention for businesses.

Do you want to know more? Contact Maria Haug Edvardsen

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