HR is an ever-shifting landscape of rules and regulations that HR teams are masters at navigating, keeping their organisations safe from the financial and legal perils that come with non-compliance.
Failure to stay ahead of laws and stipulations can have a damaging impact on a company’s reputation and is one of many reasons that businesses should make HR compliance one of the core components of their ongoing strategy.
Typically, the role of keeping on top of legislation falls at the feet of HR teams. Employment law, health and safety regulations and a myriad other rules and regulations already form a core element of their responsibilities. For many businesses, being able to place their trust in experienced and talented HR professionals to handle the myriad of compliance-based tasks is an absolute boon and a much-needed source of peace of mind.
Is it simply enough to know that you have a people team talented enough to bear the strain of compliance? Recent years have served to demonstrate the power that HR teams have to influence and transform strategy if their talents are leveraged properly. With this in mind, how can businesses best support their people teams, in order to ensure that issues of HR compliance don’t place unreasonable demands upon their time?
We believe that the answer lies within the systems and technology utilised by HR teams. Truly effective HR software can bring with it the functionality to allow your people teams to automate some of the more laborious elements of compliance, allowing you to leverage their talents in more influential areas of the business.
What is included in HR compliance?
HR compliance is relatively sweeping in nature and covers a myriad of different subjects. The most traditional elements of compliance have been those which cover employment law, medical leave benefits and other legislation which can negatively impact an organisation legally and financially if they are found to be non-compliant.
The modern role of HR is also reconciling itself to the fact that it is no longer sufficient to simply be reactive to the ever shifting reality of employment law and legislation. An increasingly evident aspect of HR compliance is demonstrating itself in the emerging trend of HR teams being folded into the wider business strategy planning of organisations. In many instances, HR professionals are now responsible for crafting and implementing the very policies which they will be responsible for ensuring remains compliant.
Although largely the responsibility of HR teams, truly effective examples of HR compliance are demonstrated by involving all aspects of the business. This is typically seen in relation to health and safety regulations such as fire warden training and first aid certification as a way for policy and procedure to be carried out by other areas of an organisation.
Diversity and inclusion as well as gender pay gap reporting have become areas within businesses that have had a greater focus placed upon them in recent years and will understandably, form a core part of an organisation’s discussions around compliance. With wider public interest being evidenced towards matters such as diverse hiring policies, it is important for organisations to have a clear understanding of the policies and procedures they have in place to support such initiatives.
The reality of modern HR compliance is that the responsibility cannot simply be left to just HR teams. the role of HR is expanding in scope, with more and more instances of HR professionals finding their talents being leveraged in wider business planning. This necessitates a sharing of the load when it comes to formulating policy and procedure as it is clear that simply relinquishing the responsibility to your HR teams is not a feasible long term solution.
Secondly, with issues such as D&I having a wider public awareness,It is imperative that business leaders are taking an active role in promoting compliance. A failure to have well-embedded policies particularly around a diverse workforce can have devastating consequences for the public perception of a brand. More and more consumers are protesting via their wallets and a failure to move in unison with their expectations could see an organisation damaged beyond repair.
Common compliance issues in HR
The Human Resources (HR) department of any organisation faces a series of obstacles in general, compliance more often than not becomes a massive hurdle for the department. Abiding by local and international employment-related laws and legislation can be quite overwhelming and requires constant vigilance.
Here are a few of the most common compliance issues faced by the HR department:
1. Equality in pay
Ensuring fair and transparent compensation practices, addressing gender or race-based pay gaps, and complying with reporting requirements.
2. Changes in minimum wages
Keeping up with local and international minimum wage laws and updating employee compensation accordingly.
3. International and local laws
Complying with various state and local employment laws, such as paid sick leave, scheduling, and anti-discrimination laws.
4. Hour and wage compliance issues
Tracking and payment of hours worked, overtime calculations, and compliance with wage and hour laws.
5. Workplace safety compliance
Guaranteeing a safe work environment, complying with safety and health regulations, and implementing safety programs and training.
6. Compliance with immigration laws
Verifying employee eligibility to work in the country, and complying with immigration-related documentation requirements.
7. Employment discrimination
Preventing discrimination in hiring, promotion, termination, or other employment decisions based on protected characteristics such as race, gender, age, religion, or disability.
8. Harassment and discrimination issues
Establishing policies and procedures to prevent workplace harassment and discrimination, investigating complaints, and taking appropriate corrective actions.
Complete your own HR compliance audits
So, what now? We understand the importance of HR compliance in order to safeguard the well-being of employees as well as to protect organisations from damaging legal and financial consequences. The widespread and complex nature of the various elements of HR compliance also means that keeping on top of shifting laws and legislation can be a nightmare for HR professionals.
It’s also important to consider that having formal processes in place for handling matters of compliance, doesn’t necessarily guarantee that everyone is adhering to the rules and falling in line with regulations. While the lion’s share of these issues can be alleviated by effective communication of policy, it’s still important for businesses to have a clear oversight and understanding of how compliant they truly are.
An internal audit is one of the most effective ways to gain the metrics an organisation needs in order to understand how well they are following their own codes of conduct and adhering to the rules. As much of an asset as an audit can be, it does however, represent a significant commitment for HR teams both in terms of resources and hours.
That’s where we believe technology can step in. The systems and technologies used by your HR teams should be able to be leveraged in order to automate the process of an internal compliance audit. By allowing your HR system to take the strain of handling the process of an internal audit, allowing you to effectively source and collate relevant data such as gender pay reporting or around the diverse makeup of your people.
By leaning on your HR systems, you can also ensure that any relevant documentation or certification is gathered in one spot. Most importantly, leveraging technology in this way means that if any gaps in processes or training are identified, these same HR platforms can then be utilised in order to formalise strategies to ensure compliance moving forward.
Importantly, leveraging technology in this way allows visibility of company compliance across all aspects of the organisation. This is an important step in helping to communicate and share the responsibility of compliance throughout the business, rather than leaving it as an insular, solely HR based concern.
How can Cloud HR help?
Understanding the importance of compliance in your organisation is only part of the problem. You need to ensure that the systems and technology that you have in place are designed to help support your HR teams and to help you effectively craft and promote policies around compliance.
We believe in the power of technology to allow businesses to achieve more. That’s why we’ve designed Advanced Cloud HR Software to help empower people teams across all industries and to free them from the burden of admin heavy tasks and manual inputs.
Compliance is a vital element for any successful business, and we understand that having the proper data at your fingertips is the most effective way to be able to understand how well your organisation understands and is adhering to regulations. Cloud HR can collate certifications around health and safety and other areas, helping you keep on top of relevant qualifications or legislative changes.
By leaning on Cloud HR, your people teams can effectively automate the audit process, easily identifying areas of concern and helping to influence policy making moving forward. We believe the most effective examples of corporate compliance moving forward will be those which spread the responsibility across the whole business. Cloud HR is the tool you need to help your people understand their responsibilities when it comes to remaining compliant.
If you would like to find out more about how Cloud HR can help transform the compliance challenge within your business, get in touch with one of our friendly team members today.