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Why is it important to get good HR advice? What are the penalties if this is not correct?

What is Human Resources (HR)

The Human Resources (HR) function contributes hugely to a Company, it plays an important role to assist with Employee Satisfaction, Performance Management and Productivity and assists to maintain Company morale and culture.

The main role of HR is to protect Companies and to ensure that the Company are adhering to all the correct employment laws, procedures and data compliance.

HR is not just there for the Employer

The HR function exists to support both employers and employees, it’s not just there for the employer. If employees need assistance, especially if it’s of a personal nature, HR provides them with any confidential guidance that is needed and also interacts with management when required.

HR also support with employee satisfaction, morale and engagement and support both the employer and employee to ensure things are running smoothly and assist to resolve any issues that may occur within the workplace.

When employees do not feel supported at work and are not being given development opportunities with the business, this can affect their motivation and commitment to the Company, which can lead to an increase in employee turnover, as unhappy employees are more likely to look to leave their job and find a new position.

Functions of HR

The HR function manages an employee’s work lifecycle from start to finish.

The main tasks of the HR function include:

  • Recruitment and Selection
  • Equal Opportunities
  • Performance Management
  • Employment Law Compliance
  • Business Culture
  • Maintaining employee records
  • Data Protection
  • Ensuring Companies have the right policies and procedures in place
  • Employee benefits
  • Holiday Management
  • HR Audits
  • Training and Development
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Employee Reward
  • Employees Engagement & Wellbeing
  • Redundancy
  • Job Evaluation
  • Safety Compliance

What are the penalties of not getting good advice

It is not a legal requirement to have HR however without a HR function Companies could be putting themselves at risk more than they need to be.

A company doesn’t need to have a permanent on-site HR function, this can be outsourced and used as and when required.

An employee can be dismissed fairly if it is for one of the following reasons:

  • Conduct
  • Capability or performance
  • Redundancy
  • Statutory breach of a statutory restriction
  • Some other substantial reason (SOSR)

If an employee is dismissed for any other reason, or a fair process is not followed, an employee may be able to bring a claim to an employment tribunal.

Any dismissal that occurs must adhere to the ACAS Code of Practice.

Constructive Dismissal is when an employee resigns from their job as a result of the employer creating a hostile or difficult working environment, and as the resignation could be seen to not be of a voluntary nature, it can be deemed a termination.

HR will handle all legal circumstances and ensure that Companies are compliant and up to date with any changes to employment law.

This is vital for Company’s as claims for unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal can be very costly to businesses, not only in the pay-outs a dismissed employee could receive, but also in the time and preparation preparing to defend such cases. When dealing with dismissing an employee it is vital that Company’s follow all the correct channels and ensures legally they are compliant.

An unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal claim can see an employee being awarded a statutory maximum amount of 52 weeks’ pay.

If a Company is found to be in breach of the Equality Act 2010, then the compensation for a claim falls into two separate categories, these are:

  • Loss of earnings
  • Injury to feelings

Unlike an unfair dismissal claim, there is no limit set on the amount of compensation that could be awarded if a discrimination claim is brought to an employment tribunal.

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