One of the main functions of HR is to protect the company from unnecessary litigation. Any company is exposed to threats from employees who want to bring claims against the company for either valid or spurious reasons. A Chief Executive wants peace of mind that the foundation of the company is solid and that spurious claims have no chance and the valid claims against the company don’t happen because HR and management makes sure all policies are sound and that management and HR adhere to them.
There is a need for companies to organise the administration of the human resources well. This doesn’t always happen, very often it is neglected, especially in Small and Medium Enterprises. What does it mean to organise the HR administration well? Make sure every employee has a valid signed Contract of Employment, has received an Employee Handbook, that employees understand and follow the HR policies and other policies of the company, that employees are made aware of the company pension arrangements and receive a company induction at the start of their tenure with the company.
It is a deliverable of human resources to ensure that companies do not get unnecessarily exposed to risks in the field of HR administration. However during my visits to small and medium enterprises I very often encounter situations where the company has contracts but unfortunately not every employee got one. This is a shame if you have good contracts and policies they should be distributed to all employees and you should be able to prove that the employees received them.
For human resources this is a basic requirement. There isn’t much glory in those tasks, but they are essential to achieving good HR management. Often when I audit big companies and ask to see the personnel files of a number of employees I notice that many files are not complete and that important forms and papers are missing. It is important to keep these files complete.
When visiting small and medium companies I am very often told all is well. However, for a reason I insist on seeing the Employee Handbooks because from experience I know that sometimes the unexpected happens. I once read an Employee handbook, which I was assured was ok only to notice Vietnam veterans and other issues mentioned which were not required under Irish law. This was an Irish SME and someone had just copied a US Employee Handbook from the internet and nobody had realised that it didn’t apply to their situation.
Sound HR Administration is a basic deliverable of HR but when it isn’t done right it can cause serious issues for your company and undermines HR. Executives want peace of mind and expect their HR people to get this right from the start.