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Human Resources (HR) departments serve a valuable role for business owners who are intent on achieving higher levels of success. For starters, they are a gatekeeper of sorts, making sure only the best applicants possible receive consideration for hire by first scanning their resumes and screening their backgrounds, sometimes even holding the initial interview so, by the time they make it to you, they are fairly vetted.

Then, once new staff is hired and brought on board, HR is responsible for ensuring that the rising starsare adequately trained, that their benefits and compensation packages are in order, and—perhaps most importantly—that they’re happy in their roles and achieving their peak levels of performance, bothfor themselves and the company as a whole.

But setting up and running an effective HR department also involves knowing what individuals in these roles can and what they cannot do so that you’re compliant with the rules and laws governing employee practices. How do you know that? While a complete answer would take thousands of pages, you can begin by knowing more about these three classes of regulations.

  1. Hiring and Firing Regulations

“Discrimination” is a word we hear a lot about these days and one which can do a lot of damage to your business if you participate in these types of practices. Sometimes this damage comes financially, which can occur if you are taken to court for discriminatory business practices and lose, and other times it comes in the form of a tarnished reputation, hurting your business in a more indirect, yet equally as powerful manner.

Each governmental body has their own laws in this regard, so the key is knowing what they are for your business’s geographical area.In the U.S., for instance, hiring and firing regulations are dictated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but if you live in the U.K., you have different discrimination guidelines, many of which you can find on Gov.UK.

If you’re not in either of these locations, simply Google “hiring laws and regulations” + “your location” and you will receive search results for your particular area.

  1. Pay-Related Regulations

Your pay-related regulations also depend largely on where your business is located. For example, if you operate within the United States, the U.S. Department of Labor has an entire Employment Law Guide which covers minimum wages and overtime pay requirements, many of which vary by state.

This guide also discusses otherpay-related topics, likeregulations for youth workers, which change depending on their age. Violate any of these regulations and you could be fined as much as $10,000. Do it a second time and you can be incarcerated.

And if your business is located in Australia, your pay requirements are different yet. For instance, one that is relatively new is that you much have Single Touch Payroll by July 1, 2018 if you have more than 20 staff and July 1, 2019 if you have fewer.

Roubler explains that Single Touch Payroll is “a change in the way businesses report their PAYG and super contributions to the Australian Taxation Office.” While enforcement is expected to be somewhat lax during the first 12 months, failure to comply after that point can result in you being penalized.

  1. Regulations About Benefits

Do you have to offer benefits to your employees? If you don’t already know the answer to this question, you want to find out so that you’re in compliance with your local laws.

Within the U.S., these laws are dictated by the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration and include direction on what is expected in regard to employees’ retirement and health care benefits. In the U.K., there are requirements regarding when you have to enroll your staff in a workplace pension plan and, in Australia, these are dictated by the National Employment Standards.

Businesses that Cross Borders

What do you do when you have a business that crosses borders, employing staff in various locations around the world? Certainly, this happens more and more nowadays with many jobs conducted online. However, the answer to this question is not as simple as one would like as New to HR explains that “a fully global employment law does not exist.”

With each geographic location having different rules and different meanings for basic terms, it can make knowing what to do in this situation rather complex. So, if you’re unsure what your obligations are to employees in different regions, you may want to consult with an attorney or other legal expert who specializes in labor law. Ideally, he or she should have experience with global businesses that have faced similar situations themselves.

As you can see, HR-related regulations vary greatly depending on where your business is located and are rather complex in nature. Thus, knowing what these regulations are—and following them—is critical to not only having an effective HR department, but also to creating a company that is free from possible penalties.


 
 
 

 
 

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