Often when a client calls wanting advice on an internal compliance matter and I ask what the Company Policy is, the standard answer is “I am running a business; I don’t have time for all of those policies” or “We are so small there are not enough of us to have all of this paperwork in place”. The truth is that a lack of process and policies can mean a considerable amount of time spent on labour issues than most employers would like. Here are the top five things every employer should know when it comes to having an effective compliance structure in their business.
1. Review, Renew, Rework
Many Companies still have the same policies in place from when they started their business, and they are probably still in the bottom drawer where they were left in the first place. Compliance policies, procedures, employee handbooks and company documents should be reviewed, renewed and reworked (if necessary) at least every two years or when there is a change in circumstances to make sure that they are current and applicable.
2. Educate, Empower, Engage
Experience shows us that when employees are educated on the compliance structures, policies and procedures in a Company and are empowered to make suggestions on structure and policy or question aspects of procedures, they are more likely to engage with Employers before lodging grievances. A workplace with open communication has fewer complaints and less disciplinary processes than those where policies are kept in a file in the HR Office.
3. Policies and Processes
An effective workplace is one where there is a visible working compliance structure and not only are there policies in place, but processes are followed, and those processes are aligned with the policy. For example, often there is a policy of claiming for company expenses but no process on when to claim expenses or what can be claimed. A policy without a process is doomed to fail.
4. Plan, Prepare, Prevent
No matter how good your framework is, compliance issues and disciplinary processes are unavoidable. But with proper planning and preparation you can prevent a disaster at the CCMA or ensure that you limit any non-compliance damages.
5. Don’t Be A ‘Man’, Ask For Directions
We understand that you have a business to run and compliance is the last thing on your list of priorities, that is why we advise that you seek advice on your compliance structures, policies and procedures and let someone else manage this while you get on with the business of business.
For any queries regarding the above or assistance on compliance or labour audits or any other compliance needs please contact Oriole Consulting on 011 346 2422 or firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also visit our website www.oriole.co.za