Human Resources

Human Resources, commonly denoted as HR, refers to the group of people or person(s) that handle an organisation or business’ employees. Health and Safety also manage a wide range of tasks vital to effectively running a business.

What do Human Resources Departments Manage?

HR can deal with anything ranging from payroll to holiday entitlement, training. It can also include recruitment within the workplace.

What are Human Resources Controls?

HR controls are measures that focus on employee behaviour, performance as well as creating and/or maintain policies and procedures for businesses and organisations. It should be noted, since the pandemic started in 2020, HR has been responsible for an even wider range of duties. These include furlough processing and government guidance of safe work practices.

What are Human Resources Policies?

HR policies are a structure of principles, rules and procedures of conduct that establish and maintain a business or organisation’s relationship with employees.

HR is also responsible for establishing and maintaining areas such as health and safety in the workplace. This is a required policy and enforceable by UK law.

There are very few HR policies that are legally required in the UK. Some policies can and will be enforced by HR that are strongly recommended for best practice in the workplace.

Yet, the role of HR is to make sure employment legislation is complied with, correctly, completely. Also, this must be within company requirements where possible.

Smaller businesses may not have a dedicated department. Often a director or senior team member runs HR. However, it is strongly suggested you have someone in control of HR.

Some important policies are required to be compliant with UK law. These fall under employment policies and are:

  • Disciplinaries/Dismissal. 
  • Health and Safety.
  • Grievance.

How Do Workplaces Implement HR Policies? 

For effective implementation of policies within the workplace, HR may promote an adopted policy or procedure to all staff through communication methods.

Communicating the policies to staff members through the use of resources like an Employee Handbook. Printed, or digitised copies that are easily accessible is an effective way to do this.

New staff should be informed of the policies initially and can be introduced to them as part of an induction packet or meeting. This allows them to raise any concerns and ask any questions at the beginning of employment.

Once the information has been communicated, management should have staff sign a receipt that states an individual has read, understands and will comply with the company policies.

The most important key policies or procedures of the company can be posted to notice boards in communal areas. This gives maximum exposure to staff.

The Employee Handbook must be constantly checked and updated where required to ensure that you comply with the law.

What Are Some Examples of HR Policies and Procedures?

Tailoring HR policies and procedures to a business or organisations vision and/or values allows for businesses to paint a very clear picture of what is required of employees by law and what is required by the company.

For example; Personal Protective Equipment may be necessary, such as a Dress Code policy that should be issued by the business or organisation to lead in effective compliance amongst staff.

This makes it clear what the employer always expects of the employee leaving no room for interpretation. 

How do Companies Enforce HR Policies?

Enforcing the rules laid out by HR policies and procedures is of utmost importance to maintain the effectiveness of those rules in place. It also shows equality and a level of overall compliance amongst staff.

For example, something like lateness/absence policies should be enforced for every person the procedure may apply to.

Without doing so the policy is a pointless set of rules and employees may feel there is no need to follow. This, in turn, can create a dangerous work environment in terms of essential policies like health and safety.

Therefore, enforcing the more basic policies laid out by a company maintains a semblance of satisfaction amongst the employees that are on time and/or at work. It also makes the late/absent employee aware of the reasons for the lateness/absence policy the company has in place. For example, lateness/unwarranted absence creates unfair pressures on staff that make it into work on time.