How to Develop an Effective HR Compliance Program

By Emily Wilson

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HR is probably the single most important department within your company, especially when it comes to the issue of hiring new employees, evaluating your staff, conducting new employee orientation and processing paperwork. Other than this, it is the role of an HR manager to coordinate your workforce and resolve issues between management and employees. Lastly, they’re also the ones responsible for direct disciplinary procedures which, although always unpleasant, serve a crucial purpose within your enterprise. 

The problem with running an effective HR lies in the fact that it’s also one of the fields that’s the most heavily regulated by labour laws. Your hiring practices may be up to date at the moment but things could change in just a couple of months. The same goes for virtually any of the tasks mentioned in the previous paragraphs. In order not to allow this to become a problem, what you need is an HR compliance program. What this means is that you need to have a strategy that will allow you to constantly update your HR practice in order to ensure that they’re done according to the law. With that in mind and without further ado, here are several tips to help you develop an effective HR compliance program.

1. Employer-employee relations

The first thing that comes to mind, while on this topic are the employer-employee relations in terms of the minimum wage, overtime pay and similar forms of government-regulated employee compensation laws. You see, the reason why these laws often get an adjustment is due to the fact that the value of the currency and the purchasing power of every country out there change on a regular basis. Therefore, it’s only right that the average and minimum wage laws change as well. In other words, you can use these indicators in order to anticipate this change in the law.

Another important issue here is the so-called Family and Medical Leave Act, which grants employees up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave in certain situations and emergencies. Other than this, in some countries, employees might even be summoned for active military duty. In this scenario, it’s a duty of an employer to restore them to the same or equivalent position upon their return. The reason why this is so important is due to the fact that an employer, in this scenario, is in need of a skilled temporary replacement, which is not something that’s as easy to accomplish.

2. Outsource your HR

Another piece of advice that you would do well to follow is to outsource your HR instead of handling it in-house. This way, you would have someone skilled, equipped and experienced in this field to tackle this topic. Also, other than embracing the change, someone specializing in HR compliance will also ensure that they properly introduce these changes to the rest of your company. In other words, by outsourcing, you’re not just optimizing your HR compliance program but also ensuring its optimal effectiveness.

3. HR compliance audits

One of the most important tasks when it comes to conducting scheduled HR compliance audits, which is something that a lot of businesses postpone indefinitely. Why? Well, mostly because the majority of HR departments are understaffed and already overburdened with work, as it is. For this very reason, they have no time for such a massive project such as an HR compliance audit. The best way to handle this is to either outsource your HR (this way it’s someone else’s problem) or simply schedule your HR compliance audits in advance so that your staff can properly prepare for it.

4. Having an HR handbook

One of the first things you need to understand is the fact that there’s no such thing as a universal HR handbook. In order to know how your team should act in certain scenarios, you need to develop your own handbook. You can start by looking into someone else’s handbook and borrowing a couple of ideas. You see, the information here is not in any way protected by the patent or copyright, which gives you a full legal right to apply the methods in your own case. Also, if you are to alter the rules, you need to have something to alter, to begin with. An HR handbook is a great place to do so.

5. Communication is key

Communication is always key when it comes to improving your own organization, however, when it comes to your HR it goes two-fold. First of all, you need to have a great line of communication between the management and the HR department, to begin with. Second, you need to have a great line of communication between HR and the staff. The HR is almost always the bridge between the management and staff. If there’s an important change, your HR is the official channel through which the information/notification should go.

6. Education and training

The very last thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that your HR needs to adjust to these changes, which is why you need to hire people who are ready and willing to submit themselves to a continuous learning experience. Also, keep in mind that since the HR department takes an active role in training the staff, with changing regulations, some of your old didactic methods and principles may become outdated. The role of HR in the modern office is more than dynamic, which is a challenge that a lot of people are more than willing to accept.

In conclusion

The last thing we have to mention is the fact that developing an effective HR compliance program might be paramount due to the fact that you need something to integrate into your business model. You see, trying to follow up on the recent changes isn’t something that you only have to do once. Instead, it’s something that your HR will have to struggle year in and year out. Fortunately, where there’s a will, there’s always a way and by using some of the above-listed tips, you’ll be well on your way to settle this issue once and for all.

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