Legal and HR department–the perfect combination for the company

Human resources management is a field heavily influences by local laws in charge of employment issues. Recruitment, compensation, placement, and development are just some of the aspects governed by regulations and laws. Arguably, some of the most complicated processes and issues are found in these fields of expertise. Wage, workplace safety, discrimination and many more are just on the top of the list. Human resources and legal departments are crucial areas in any company, large or small. Still, they operate in silos, if you will, and function independently. Like all things in life things quickly change. And the very turbulent business world is no exception. More and more enterprises are realizing the need for this practice to change. The current high-pace environment most companies find themselves in dictates that certain departments need to be joined and integrated. In this section, we will cover the necessary key points when it comes to similarities between local law and human resources.


  1. The main motivators


Most of the employees, when asked what are their prime motivators for working in a company, will answer with wages and benefits. Nothing new or surprising there. They also tend to be predominantly one of the biggest expenses for any employer. Many of them are tempted to cut corners. And that is precisely why, no matter where we find ourselves, there are laws in place to prevent that. Combinations of federal, state and local legislature are designed to ensure a minimum wage, paying for overtime, maximum overtime, and many more. These ensure a civilized and sustainable employer-employee relation and make sure that everyone is satisfied. Common violations include not paying for overtime, paying less than minimum wage, etc. As for benefits, they represent anything other than wages themselves. Paid vacation, medical insurance, dental, and more, are considered benefits. Depending on where we find ourselves, employers are generally not obligated to offer any of them. Still, it is common practice to include at least medical and dental insurance, as it attracts and retains top talent.


  1. Harassment and discrimination


These two are tightly knit together and are heavily controlled by law. Protected groups or individuals such as women, racial, ethnic, or religious minorities are usually the ones most affected by it. In all of the western world combinations of laws strictly prohibit discrimination in any and all stages of employment. All the way from the application for the job, to the termination of the relationship with the employee. Laws are prohibiting discrimination on many points. Some include, but are not limited to gender, race, age, ethnicity, religion, and disability. Lately, these are being extended to additional categories, most notably the LGBT community, thus encompassing the sexual orientation aspect. Most frequently, it is the sexual type of harassment that is most prevalent in the workplace. Any unwanted sexual advances by any party will create a hostile work environment. Not only will this affect the bottom line, but that would be the least of our worries. Harassed employees have a difficult time functioning, prospering and doing their job. This is why for, sometime now, companies are being proactive on the subject by promoting very strict rules. Some go as far as to outright ban all non-business (romantic) fraternizing between employees. This is a potentially very detrimental and extreme step to take, as it makes everyone miss out. A closely-knit workforce is a very productive one, a shame to not let such a natural thing unfold. Regardless of the path we choose to tackle such a delicate issue, human resources should always be aware of the law surrounding it and act proactively.


  1. Paid leave


Employers are generally not required by law to provide paid sick leave or holidays, though it is a common practice. They are however required to provide unpaid time for illnesses, injuries or other justified reasons not to appear at the workplace. Without the fear of terminating employer-employee relation for doing so, that is. If the employee qualifies for a leave, the employer is not to take any other adverse action. Maternity leave is a prime example. Most countries promote state-wide positive birth rates by directly compensating companies for paid maternity leave. Parents do not have to compromise between being fulfilled as parents or career-wise, anymore. Their jobs will be waiting for them, where they have left them, without fear of being replaced. And the companies in question do not suffer unjustly, because of the government policies for compensating the expenses. Failing to comply with these regulations will inevitably lead to legal action. But, every once in a while, the need for lawyers arises, on both sides of the argument. It is not to be discouraged, do not get the wrong message, but if it can be avoided, the better. Law representatives like Northern Beaches Lawyers are aplenty for such situations, no matter the jurisdiction. Such agencies will handle the argument in a professional manner, and will come up with a solution beneficial for all sides.


  1. Law and accounting


When forming a new company, one of the first things on the board should be the relationship between profitability and the legality of it. Internal revenue and accounting practices and laws vary heavily between countries and each has its own distinctive set. Having a team in all departments that are intimate with the local regulations is paramount for a smooth business operation.


From these key points found in any business model, we can witness the complexity of the subject. And that is precisely why, the global shift is being made to integrate law and relevant departments in one, efficient segment. This will allow our business to avoid any and all miscommunication with the local jurisdiction and ensure a productive future for all.

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