HR FAQ’s

What are HR services?

HR services assist with people management for businesses of all types and sizes. People management, or HR services, can be provided by an in-house HR department or an outsourced professional who knows and understands the business.

HR services are available at every point of the employee lifecycle, from recruitment to redundancy and everything in between.

Some employers may be surprised to find out that employment law applies right at the start of the recruitment process. It is from here that HR services can be beneficial. Firstly, to ensure business processes are compliant with employment law such as discrimination and secondly to make sure that the best person is recruited for the hiring company.

Other HR services include but are not limited to:

  • Payroll
  • Disciplinary and grievances hearings
  • Absence management
  • Performance and appraisals
  • Employee training
  • Health and well-being

No problem is too big or too small to seek professional advice from an HR expert.

What does HR do?

HR is all about the effective management of people to enable an organisation to meet its strategic aims. There are many activities associated with a HR department including:

  • Resource planning and recruitment
  • Writing employment contracts, policies and procedures (sometimes organised into a staff handbook)
  • Dealing with staff issues such as grievances
  • Managing discipline issues and performance management
  • Restructures and redundancies
  • Psychometric assessments and team building
  • Organising staff pay and benefits
  • Training and career development

The type of HR work varies from business to business and HR professionals can choose to specialise in a particular area (e.g. training or recruitment), or become a generalist and get involved with the full range of HR activities.

HR operates at all levels of an organisation from the board room to the shop floor. HR professionals need to demonstrate a range of abilities including:

  • Problem solving
  • Clear and sensitive communication
  • Strategic thinking
  • Administration and organisational ability
Can you outsource Human Resources (HR)?

Yes, business owners can choose to outsource their Human Resources (HR) if they wish. It can often be more cost effective to do this than hire a permanent HR advisor.

Some companies employ HR professionals who make up the HR department for the business.

Smaller companies, with fewer employees, may find that outsourcing HR to an external agency or professional is a better solution for the business, as they have fewer HR needs.

The HR Dept provides flexible outsourced HR services to suit the various needs of employers across a broad range of industries. Starting from micro businesses and start-ups, to larger more established companies.

 

How does HR outsourcing work?

HR outsourcing is an alternative to having an in-house HR team. For many organisations, it is not cost effective to have an in-house HR team so outsourcing HR is a great option.

All organisations that employ people require some level of HR support.

When taking on your first employee, your business needs to provide employment contracts and other documents to ensure compliance with employment legislation. Well drafted employment documentation can also help protect an organisation’s interests.

HR businesses like The HR Dept offer packages designed specifically for your HR business needs. It is up to you to decide which package is the best fit for your business.

When should you outsource HR?

The best time to outsource your HR is before any tricky people issues arise. As you would expect, it’s much easier to manage people issues when you are proactive rather than reactive.

Ideally you should outsource your HR at the point of taking on your first employee. That way, you can have your employment contracts and other employment documentation drafted by a professional. They will ensure your documents are legally compliant and protect business interests.

Realistically, we understand many organisations look to outsource their HR when there is a people problem that needs to be resolved (such as a grievance, redundancy, or performance management issue). That is fine. The HR Dept are happy to help whenever a problem arises.

What is the difference between in-house and outsourced HR?

In-house HR is a business function provided by skilled employees for a company.

Whether an individual HR advisor or a team lead by a HR manager, the in-house HR department is responsible for human resources and people management for the business. This ranges from recruitment to training, grievances, absence management, and more.

The HR employees will have an employment contract and be enrolled in the company’s payroll.

Outsourced HR refers to HR services provided to a business by an external HR professional or agency. The outsourced HR provider will not be employed by the company and will instead have a contract for agreed services.

Outsourced HR provided by The HR Dept can apply to one off pay-as-you-go needs or provide longer term advice covered by the protection of employer indemnity insurance.

How much does outsourcing HR cost?

This depends on the level of HR support you require.

Typically, for a micro business (up to 5 people) the most important requirement is to ensure your employment documentation is legally compliant and protects the business. We offer a document-only package at an affordable rate.

For larger businesses who will have more employees (and therefore more employee issues), an advisory package may be required. A package such as the HR Dept HR Solutions + provides unlimited telephone and email advice which is backed by our employer indemnity insurance. This means if you have followed our advice from the beginning of your enquiry any unforeseen legal costs and potential awards will be covered.

Advice packages are great value and cheaper than employing an in-house HR person or team. This is why HR outsourcing is a great option for many businesses.

What rights do employees have?

Employees have various rights including:

  • The national minimum wage

  • Maximum weekly hours of work

  • The right to request flexible working arrangements

  • The right to request conversion from casual to permanent employment

  • Parental leave and related entitlements

  • Annual leave

  • Personal/ carer’s leave, compassionate leave and unpaid family and domestic violence leave

  • Community service leave

  • Long service leave

  • Public holidays

  • Notice of termination and redundancy pay

All employees must be issued with written particulars of employment on or before their first day of employment.

What is the difference between an “employee” and a “contractor”?

Incorrectly identifying the employment status of an individual can lead to problems. The simple list below will provide guidance on whether an individual should be classed as an employee or a contractor.

Employees:

  • Have a mutual obligation for one person to perform work (the employee) and for one person to pay for that work (the employer)
  • Have full employment rights

Contractors:

  • Are running their own independent business
  • Have no right to claim unfair dismissal or other employment rights
What do employers need to give to employees upon hiring?

Employers are legally obliged to provide an employee with a written statement of particulars on or before their first day of work. This is a legal document which sets out the employee’s basic terms and conditions of employment.

A written statement of particulars is not contractual unless a signed copy is returned to the employer. Employment contracts can be complex and professional HR advice is recommended when compiling one.

In addition to a contract, employers may need to consider the following for their new employee:

  • An induction to run through an introduction to the company
  • Employee handbook
  • Uniform, if appropriate
  • Equipment needed to perform the job
When can an employer terminate an employee?

If an employer wishes to terminate or dismiss an employee, they must have a valid reason for doing so and must follow a fair and legal process.

Unless gross misconduct has occurred, dismissal should only happen if a disciplinary procedure, as detailed in the company’s disciplinary policy, has been unsuccessful. An investigation with appropriate evidence will be required to establish facts, avoid discrimination and manage the risk of unfair dismissal.

Depending on the employment contract, employers must provide either contractual notice of termination or the legal minimum of notice. The legal minimum is one week for employees who have served under not more than one year with a company.

Dismissals can be complicated and carry high risk of breaching employment law if not handled correctly. It is advised to seek professional HR support to carry out dismissals.

Preventing People Problems

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