So much of HR news in the recent past has focused on things like employee engagement, recruitment and retention, and the changing technologies that are helping to automate certain tasks and enabling HR professionals to fill open positions with the best talent. All of these things are, of course, important parts of modern HR. Creating a healthy work culture and growing productivity are important factors for HR departments and business leaders to consider as they create strategies, implement new benefits, or make any other changes.
But some attention has been turned away from one of the most important responsibilities of a good HR team, which is understanding and following employment law. HR has grown into a multifaceted work discipline that encompasses many things, but employment law and compliance are still at the center of HR duties and essential to the overall success and longevity of a business.
The most important things to know about HR and employment law compliance
Here’s a short HR and employment law compliance guide to help ensure that the right amount of attention is being given to this important human resource responsibility.
1. Hire a compliance officer
Compliance, as we cover later, is really in part everyone’s job. But everyone can’t know everything and having a compliance officer is a way to maximize your responsibility A compliance officer knows the rules and researches the regulations. It’s not uncommon for businesses to have compliance officers who are in charge of approving company communications and product launches to ensure that there are no customer-facing risks and that the business is legally in the clear. But having an HR compliance officer is something that businesses may want to consider, as the responsibilities of HR professionals are varied and can include specializations in financials, processes, recruiting, or other disciplines, but may not include enough knowledge or experience in HR and employment law compliance to truly cover all areas. Plus, local and national laws can change regularly and having an employee in charge of compliance means knowing that someone is responsible for keeping tabs on changes, understanding them, communicating them, and ensuring they are followed.
2. Run regular compliance audits
Knowing the rules isn’t enough – it’s important to make sure that you’re following them. Having formal, annual audits of HR processes and HR compliance laws means that you are being proactive about any potential problems and will likely save your company time and money down the line. You’ll also be able to identify room for improvement, as compliance isn’t just about meeting the bare minimum standard but assuring that you can excel in areas beyond just the assumed expectation. This is what helps set businesses apart and make them a place that employees want to work and customers and clients want to engage with.
3. Make compliance training mandatory
People don’t typically get excited about mandatory training, but one of the best ways to stay compliant and operate legally is to make sure that everyone from HR all the way down understands what is appropriate, legal, and expected. That means conducting regular workplace safety sessions so that your employees know the rules and regulations around safety and can increase your compliance in that area. It’s also important to have regular training on things like internet and data safety, harassment, and record keeping. You might be able to save time and money by hosting these online or through digital means as opposed to walking the whole company through a presentation in person, but the training is still important no matter what medium it’s conducted in. All of these fall under the realm of corporate or company compliance, and having educated employees empowers everyone to take responsibility and help your overall organization.
HR and employment law compliance is a crucial part of HR operations. Having an HR and employment law compliance guide can help shape your efforts and ensure that you’re doing right by your employees and conducting the most responsible business possible.