Few small employers CASL-compliant: Survey

Feds urged to go slow on anti-spam legislation

Only 15 per cent of small business owners are fully aware of the requirements around Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), according to a survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

And most (62 per cent) have taken no steps to comply despite the fact CASL comes into force tomorrow, found the survey of 5,403 people.

CFIB is urging Industry Minister James Moore and the CRTC to focus on education over enforcement in the first year of the legislation.

"Most small business owners, frankly, don't think this legislation could possibly apply to them, because they are not spammers," said CFIB executive vice-president Laura Jones in a letter sent to the minister last week. "But the law captures much more than what we would traditionally think of as spam. Our members want to comply with the spirit of the law, but much more communication and support is needed. Enforcement of the letter of the law, at this point, would result in a massive compliance burden for businesses."

The CFIB asked the minister for the following:

•Boost knowledge among small businesses of CASL requirements, with education instead of enforcement

•Ensure the CRTC can fully support small business.•Slow the process down, with added time and flexibility to implement the various requirements.•Exempt businesses that send less than a certain threshold of emails per year or month.

•Review CASL quickly to ensure it is accomplishing its goal of reducing spam and that there aren’t unintended consequences and costs in its implementation.

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