A dawn raid by the competition authorities can be carried out on any business, big or small, and companies must be mindful of the possibility of a raid. It is essential to plan for a possible dawn raid to ensure that employees are briefed and ready to respond efficiently and properly in what may be a chaotic and stressful situation.
As investigators typically and intentionally arrive unannounced first thing in the morning, the raid inevitably results in a disruption of the day‑to‑day running of the business. Without planning for such event, valuable productive time will be lost and the business will, in consequence, be prejudiced. It is therefore crucial for employees to understand the steps to be taken on commencement, during and at the end of a dawn raid.
Notoriously, a dawn raid is extremely stressful for employees. It is also risky for the company, if employees do not behave appropriately. The company may be completely innocent, but can still face significant problems due to procedural irregularities during the dawn raid.
It is therefore in a company’s best interest to know what it can expect and how to efficiently manage the process of a dawn raid. Companies have to ask how they can create and implement an action plan for dealing with a dawn raid. Often a dawn raid results in hefty legal costs as a result of the large teams of lawyers who lack the requisite expertise being called upon on short notice to assist during a dawn raid.
While assisting clients, we have has observed that officials often take an aggressive approach which calls for the company to respond quickly and effectively and at the same time ensure compliance with its obligations in terms of legislation. It is essential that companies plan well in advance for a possible dawn raid to ensure that staff are empowered with knowledge and are ready to efficiently and properly respond in this stressful situation.
The Dawn Raid Toolkit, Dawn Raid in a BoX, provides the requisite information details on what to do and what not to do in the event of a dawn raid. It’s primarily aimed at the company’s Response Team who are responsible for managing the dawn raid and at the same time, it provides detailed, tailored guidance for all employees.
Companies need to know how to prepare for and remain ready for a dawn raid. This should be the position with or without an external legal team on site. Often various company sites are raided at the same time and external lawyers have to travel to the various locations to be present at a specific company site during the raid. Some of the crisp issues that the Dawn Raid in a BoX Toolkit provides for, relate to –
- the establishment of the Response Team, empowering the team for interaction with the investigators coNewnducting the raid and enabling the team to take appropriate steps and decisions during the raid;
- training and empowering employees with knowledge to know what they should do in the event of a dawn raid, including checklists of what to do in relation to various levels of staff;
- templates providing for, amongst others, a list of key employees who need to be informed and instructions to employees.
Submitted by Werksmans