Law today, changed tomorrow…workplace laws are continuously evolving. Do your employment practices, policies and procedures reflect these changes?
You may, in fact have up to date policies in place, but are your managers and employees following them; or are they creating an unknown risk for your business?
For your own piece of mind, a periodic HR audit offers you the confidence that your workplace practices are compliant, reflect up to date requirements and minimise the risk that HR policies and procedures are being breached by your employees.
The effective HR audit
An audit is a valuable business tool. It enables continuous improvement and compliance as well as minimising risk to your business and customers. Your HR auditor should be experienced in a broad range of HR matters; provide you with a report that identifies any real issues for improvement; and also:
- analyse, evaluate, interpret and apply standards
- deliver meaningful findings to the business
- discuss concerns and where a process may not meet requirements.
Key areas to consider auditing
The majority of businesses have employment agreements in place. Based on findings by the Fair Work Commission, there has been an increase in the number of organisations who are not complying with those clauses in their employment agreements with staff that are not everyday functions.
In particular, the annual performance review is increasingly forgotten with a laissez-faire attitude being taken by employers as to when it is being undertaken. Failing to undertake this annual review may be a breach of the employment agreement with your employee(s).
Modern Award Coverage
There are currently 122 awards that cover most people working in Australia, so the likelihood your employees are covered by a Modern Award is high. Where a modern award is applicable, did you know to specify the award and classification of your employees in the employment agreement to ensure you are compliant? Make sure you are familiar with each employee’s entitlements under their particular award – eg: their minimum wage.
If a modern award is not applicable, the employment agreement must meet the National Employment Standards and pay no less than the Australian minimum wage... otherwise you are in breach of the Fair Work Act.
Policies and Procedures
Appropriate policies and procedures of any business ensure streamlined processes and guides business practice. So, what do your policies and procedures say? Do you provide training to ensure your policies and procedures are applied by your employees? Are those policies and procedures being followed? Did you spend lots of time (and money) writing fantastic policies and then put them in a cupboard!
It is of no benefit to your business to refer to policies and procedures during a legal proceeding (eg: an investigation into workplace health and safety issues) if your employees are unaware of their existence or untrained in their implementation. Your employees must be aware of your expectations and the boundaries in which they work. They won’t be unless you train them on the policies and procedures that govern your business.
Are you keeping all necessary employee records as required by the Fair Work Act. There are some employee records you must retain as a business owner – eg: overtime records, payslips and superannuation nomination, just to name a few.
Although not mandatory to retain, as a business it would be beneficial to hold other records on your employee’s personnel file – eg: performance appraisals, any disciplinary action, or training records.
Stay informed… stay compliant
Akyra Strategy & Development www.akyra.com.au
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