HR departments must maintain a state of constant diligence to ensure they keep on top of their regulatory responsibilities. The situation has reached fever pitch this year with the coming of the GDPR, which has triggered a mass review of company practices and procedures across all sectors and industries. But it is essential for HR departments to take all their compliance responsibilities seriously to avoid hefty fines, not to mention reputational damage, for failing to observe the ever-growing list of legislative demands.
Circumstances are further complicated for firms who trade in multiple territories, where compliance must also be met for places across the border of their usual region. Add this to the growing gig economy, where many workers are subject to alternative laws due to employment status and location, and HR departments have a huge job on their hands in creating and observing measures which mitigate risks.
But despite the importance of compliance, many companies are still operating in a state of denial. Recent research carried out by human capital management firm ADP found that up to 80% of companies believe that they comply with national regulations, while the same research found that a third of those companies had been penalised for non-compliance in the previous year.
Regular and routine review of HR policies and practices are essential to keep on top of your HR regulation compliance.
Employee handbooks and guidelines should be frequently assessed to ensure that they reflect recent and upcoming legislative changes.
Employee expectations and procedures must be clearly communicated. Avoid overly complicated and confusing language which might be open to misinterpretation.
Handbooks should form a basis for company-wide and non-discriminatory application, with clear outcomes for non-compliance.
All procedures relating to employees and future employees should be reviewed, including recruitment, record keeping, employee retention, contract terminations and employee rights.
The changing working landscape is placing growing demands on HR departments, and it is easy to feel overwhelmed. But with upcoming changes triggered by the UK leaving the EU, the need for meticulousness in compliance continues to grow. By being organised and staying on top of your HR regulation compliance, you can help ensure a smooth-running department, as well as avoid penalties which could have a drastic impact on your business.