The job of hr management extends way beyond the area of hiring and firing. They are also invested with the task of looking after the interests of both the employees and employers at the same time, which requires considerable knowledge of the latest employment rights, regulations and conditions.
Today hr consultants, and the hr consultancy companies that they work for, provide solutions to clients in a variety of areas, but each area can be extensive. Managing just one area, like the working environment, is no small task and, as such, is something that companies would prefer to outsource to those who are fully expert in the area.
Often, large corporations are willing to pay for the services of a dedicated group of human resources staff, which is understandable since their needs can be daily, but smaller businesses do not have the resources to invest in full time staff. A single consultant, however, can offer a small business legal advice in environmental regulations, ensuring they adhere fully and avoid possible fines and law suits while upholding the rights of employees there too.
The working environment is affected by a wide range of factors, not least the minimum health standards for the modern office, factory floor and retail store. Of course, this relates in the main to issues such as clean air through ventilation and air conditioning, sufficient working space and readily available amenities, such as toilets, a break room, even water dispensers so as to provide basic refreshment.
However, other areas include the provision of adequate first aid supplies, clear notices and signs, properly maintained and safe IT and office equipment, and proper fire warning and prevention systems.
As well as these aspects, it is also a requirement to carry out regular risk assessments of the workplace, which involves a close inspection of the working environment to see if there are areas that can pose a risk to safety. This can include the condition of facilities like staircases, lobbies, reception areas or kitchens, ascertaining who is at risk and detailing the changes that need to be implemented.
Of course, the environmental concerns of different places of work can vary depending on the type of company the regulations are being applied to. For example, while all workplaces will face strict fire and safety regulations, an office will be particularly affected by air quality and temperature control issues, necessitating the need for specific equipment to be brought in, like an air conditioner or an updated heating system. A factory, meanwhile, would typically have to deal with noise pollution as well as a greater range of safety risks. These are likely to require the provision of extra safety clothing, like ear muffs, goggles, gloves and even fire treated overalls.
The introduction of proper safety procedures, both to prevent accidents and deal with them, is also essential. While guidelines are available from local authorities, the actual act of compiling a set of procedures to suit the specific place of work is taken on by human resources.
Even reporting incidents carries with it strict regulations, as does the completion and archiving of relevant information. The department must keep note of every accident and dangerous incident that any employee was involved in while working. Details of the incident, any preventative steps taken as a result of it and any treatment received by the employee, must be logged, whether in a book or on a computer. Files must then be kept for a minimum of three years. These incidents can include contracting a disease while at work, as well as any incident suffered by a person on work premises who is not working.
These are just some of the responsibilities that employers must meet, and it is the hr consultants that can help them to be aware of every detail of a regulation. Many employers, for example, are unaware that even employees working from home are their responsibility, requiring an assessment of their working equipment in the home and even the state of their electrics.
It is a pitfall that can be easily overlooked, particularly by small businesses. Without expert small business legal advice, they might easily fall victim to the wrath of the regulatory body, or even of the courts. Regardless of the size of a particular company, the responsibilities the employer faces and the range of environmental and employment rights the employees are entitled to, contrive to make modern hr management services masters of a huge area.