Four HR Compliance Requirements for your Business

Human resources compliance requirements are for all business, no matter what size.

Like your accounts, human resources also has compliance requirements that need to be met to ensure a smooth employment relationship with clear expectations whilst meeting your legal obligations.

Preparing and educating yourself about these requirements is an essential element in running a best practice small business, keeping money in your pocket and maintaining your reputation.

Let’s take a look at how four HR compliance requirements can have a positive impact on your small business.

Have written employment contracts for all staff

Each employee should have a written employment contract outlining terms and conditions, which is signed and stored on an employee file when they start with your business. This may be reviewed as employees progress within the business. It is also important to select the right employment type, contractor’s, permanent versus fixed term contracts and casuals.

Review the following checklist and determine if your employment contracts contain the correct information.

–  Commencement date and employment type
–  Probation period
–  Location and alternative locations or home based work
–  Remuneration and reimbursement of expenses
–  Termination of employment
–  Conflict of Interest

For the information your contracts do not include, investigate your options for putting this in place.

For a full list of items to include in your employment contract template, Contact Small Business Society and we can provide advice on developing employment contracts that best suit your business needs.

Communicate your workplace policies and procedures

Whether you have no policies at all or have sound policies in place, it is another to actually enforce them and to properly communicate them with all employees. This involves conducting regular audit of your workplace policies to ensure they are up to date with relevant legislation, provide refresher training to employees and keeping a track of when training occurred.

Determine which of the following workplace policies and procedures you have and which ones your business needs. depending on your business’s needs and other supporting documentation.

–  Code of Conduct
–  Recruitment and Induction
–  Probation  
–  Leave (including Flexible Working Arrangements and Pregnancy at Work)
–  Performance Management
–  Grievance and Dispute Resolution  

For the policies your business currently doesn’t have, investigate your options for gathering this information and implementing.

This is also just a few of the possible policies your business can include. For the full list contact Small Business Society and we can provide advice.

Know your employees remuneration and reward entitlements

Navigating Australia’s complex employment laws, modern awards and agreements can be hard. It is important to know the remuneration and reward entitlements for employees, including competitive salaries which address minimum wage, tax and superannuation payments as well as leave entitlements and leave loading (if applicable). Underpaying employees attracts big fines and back pay claims.

Review the following checklist and determine if you are interpreting and applying awards plus relevant legislation correctly.

–  Does the position have an applicable award?
–  What is the employees rate of pay under the award?
–  Which allowances are applicable?
–  What are the employees ordinary hours of work?
–  How many and how long are meal breaks?
–  What time and days does overtime apply and what are the rates of pay?

For the questions you are unsure of, investigate your options for gathering this information.  Or contact Small Business Society and we can assist with applying awards and legislation correctly.

Follow fair performance management practices

While you may have a valid reason to dismiss an underperforming, absent or ill employee, if you don’t follow procedural fairness, you are likely to face and potentially end up losing an unfair dismissal claim. Procedural fairness is critical to how Fair Work Australia decides unfair dismissal cases.

Review the following checklist and determine if you have the correct procedures in place for managing underperformance in your business.  (This is a suggested process and can be modified to suit your business.)

–  Identify the issue
–  Arrange a meeting with your employee
–  Discuss the issue and jointly devise a solution
–  Offer support
–  Consider next steps
–  Keep records

For the steps in the process your business does not have, investigate your options for putting this in place.

This is also just an overview of the process to get your started.  For the detailed list of processes contact Small Business Society and we can provide advice on developing a fair performance management process that best suits your needs.

Remember, while it might not be a priority with all the other things you are trying to achieve in running your business, meeting human resource compliance requirements can have a big impact on your business.  Understand what you need to do to get on top of your obligations by contacting Small Business Society.


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About Kate Tongue

Kate Tongue is the founding Director of Small Business Society.

She is a qualified and experienced Human Resources professional with more than 10 years of experience across the private and public sectors.

Her particular interest and experience is in managing the employee life cycle, delivering process improvements, and Human Resource strategy.


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