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Top UK HR Compliance Laws To Keep An Eye On

One of the many roles of an HR professional is to ensure company employees are treated fairly and legally, following HR Compliance Laws. This is especially challenging for HR departments because laws and regulations are constantly evolving, and new and updated Employment and Labour Laws come into effect each year.

Let’s take a look at what HR compliance is, and what legal issues affect human resources management. How might employment law updates in 2020 impact your employees, and what do you need to do to stay compliant?

What is HR Compliance?

Compliance is an integral requirement of the Human Resources department. Aside from GDPR compliance, internal KPI assessments, and the regular auditing of documents and records, there are many factors managers need to be aware of to ensure HR compliance at all levels of a large or small business.

We already saw a number of updates to labour regulations last year relating to hiring, pay and minimum wage, anti-discrimination laws, and overtime, and there have been a number of changes again this year. HR, payroll and executive managers need to be aware of these changes. And review all policies and practices to ensure HR compliance with updated applicable laws.


What Are The 3 Most Important Legal Issues in Human Resources Management?

There are a number of factors that must be observed to guarantee employment law and statutory compliance in HR. Here are 3 of the most important compliance issues encountered in human resources management:


1. Confidentiality

This is both a legal and ethical responsibility. Confidentiality includes the safeguarding of employee personal data and business strategies in accordance with GDPR regulations. As a department, human resources must ensure access to sensitive data is restricted. The best practices must be designed, communicated and adhered to at all times. If you fail to protect the confidentiality of employee, company and shareholder data then you risk damaging the reputation of the organisation (not to mention any potential legal implications).


2. Tax Laws

Payroll and HR professionals should review tax compliance procedures at the start of each year to ensure ongoing compliance. There are many things to take into consideration, including employee tax deductions, benefits, and payroll compliance at a federal and state level. Regular HR compliance audits should be undertaken to ensure human resources compliance with fiscal obligations.

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3. Labour Laws

Employees are protected by a broad range of labour rights. Companies must adapt and abide by regular labour law changes at every level of an organisation. A company needs to take a proactive approach to ensure that they meet all of their legal obligations in terms of equity, discrimination, minimum wage, paid leave and workplace harassment laws.

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What Are Some of The New Labour Laws in 2020?

Major changes to existing employment regulations were put into play in April 2020.

  • Parental Bereavement leave and pay: Also referred to as ‘Jack’s Law’ which claims that parents or those who suffer the loss of a child will receive two weeks of parental bereavement leave.
  • The National Living Wage for workers aged 25 and over rises to £8.72
  • The UK Working Time Regulations 1998 states employers must give their employees 5.6 weeks of holiday leave every year (calculated pro-rata for part-time employees). From 6 April 2020 the reference period for calculating holiday pay for variable hours workers increased from 12 to 52 weeks.
  • The Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020: These Regulations provide an exception relating to the effects of coronavirus to the bar on carrying forward untaken leave under Regulation 13 of the Working Time Regulations 1998 (“WTR”). This came into force on 26th March 2020.


How Do You Ensure Human Resources Compliance?

The best way to guarantee human resources compliance in your company is to stay on top of all changes. Not only that but make sure to perform regular Human Resource compliance audits and reviews. In addition, establish clear policies and procedures that take into account all state, federal and national regulations. Also, remember to seek professional advice when in doubt.

Policies and procedures must be communicated to all employees, ongoing training for compliance programs must be provided, and an employee handbook detailing all company rules and policies should be given to all new starters. It’s also a good idea to distribute Labor law posters where relevant so that all members of staff are aware of what could be construed as inappropriate or unethical behaviour.

HR compliance is a critical part of any human resources department. Aside from complying with legal requirements and avoiding costly fines and penalties, an environment of human resources compliance also has a positive influence on employee performance and development, retention and hiring. Compliance is vital for the long-term success of a company.

To find out more about specific Labour Laws, check out these articles:


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