Summary of Human Resource Services
- Human Resource Audit Service
- Human Resource Compliance Installation Service
- Employee Communication Service
- Annual Human Resource Compliance Maintenance & Administration Service
- Human Resource ‘Help Line’ Service
- Recruitment and Selection Services
- On Site Outsourced Human Resource Manager Service
- On Site Disciplinary ‘hand holding’ and Advice
- On Site Dismissal, Redundancy and Dispute Resolution Service / Advice
- Representation at Labour Court, Labour Relations Commission, Employee Appeals Tribunal, Equality Tribunal etc.
- Human Resources Related Specific Projects e.g. Develop Induction Pack, Develop Performance Management System, Pay & Reward Systems, Benchmarking etc.
- Human Resource Training e.g. Managing Discipline & Grievance, An introduction to Employment Law, Effective Performance Management, Staff Reviews made Easy, Recruitment & Selection for the Small Business, HR, Recruitment & Employment Practices etc. – Refer to section on Training for detail on these programs
For further information on these services see below or please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or +353 1 8770842
Managing staff in a fair and reasonable manner
All organisations irrespective of size or nature of activity have human resources needs. It is not unusual in some organisations for the responsibility of the HR function to be tagged onto an already overstressed business owner.
There are many pieces of Irish employment legislation (c. 50 new pieces in last 5 years), each requiring the implementation of workplace policies and procedures. Employers are legally required to maintain records of any documentation relating to these policies and procedures in order to prove they are complying with the provisions of these Acts. Failure to maintain accurate and up to date records for the required period is deemed an offence under these Acts and therefore will be subject to a penalty.
Recent changes in employment legislation have created a need to review and realign personnel policies and practices within organisations. This requirement is reiterated by Employment Equality legislation which requires that employees be treated consistently and fairly across an organisation. The act also makes employers vicariously liable for the actions of their employees, and thereby puts the onus on employers to keep employees informed. When line managers / supervisors vary or are limited in their knowledge of organisation policies and procedures, the organisation risks exposure from poor and inconsistent people management practices. The definition and implementation of good people management practices will also contribute to the development and retention of employees.
For example, facts that many employers may not be aware of include:
- All employees legally entitled to copy of their contract of employment within 2 months of commencing employment.
- All employers legally obliged to give a written notice of organisation dismissal procedures to every employee within 28 days of commencing employment.
- All employers legally obliged to grant employees fair procedures in discipline situations
- All employers legally obliged to grant employees fair procedures in Grievance situations
- All employers legally obliged to operate a safe and harassment-free environment
- All employers legally obliged to prevent discrimination in workplace – 9 types of discrimination defined
- All employers legally obliged to have a written safety statement
- All employers legally obliged to provide statutory leave breaks, e.g. public holidays, force majeure leave, maternity and parental leave
- All employers legally obliged to not allow employees to work more than an average of 48 hours per week, including for a second employer
- All employers legally obliged to maintain records of hours, holidays etc.
Unfortunately, ignorance, organisation size or lack of understanding is no defence to non-compliance with all this legislation.
Business owners and managers need to have appropriate HR structures and guidelines in place. Dealing with issues in an ad-hoc manner without reference to any existing framework can prove very difficult to maintain, manage and support.
Some very scary statistics & facts for employers include the following:
- Average employment case will last 17.5 weeks from initial complaint to final verdict
- Cost to a business to defend in lost time and professional advice is on average €15,000
- Almost 65 per cent of all cases before the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) result in a cash award for the claimant
- Claimants receive an average payout of more than €15,000
- Largest individual payout in 2006 was for €300,000
- Increase of cases being taken against employers of 80% year on year since 2003
Employers need to be aware that the cost of failing to legally comply with employment legislation relates not just to the financial cost of the penalty. The effects in terms of the real cost to a business include the loss of management time in dealing with the case and also the effect on the image of the business as employer, customer and supplier.
It's one of those areas that everyone agrees they need to know about and have systems, policies and procedures in place to support it, but when it comes to implementing core HR protection, it generally takes a back seat to what may be deemed the more immediate core activities and necessities associated with the running of a small business.
This can be understandable as there is a widespread belief in the small businesses community that keeping up to date with employment legislation is just to difficult to achieve because regulations are ever-changing and becoming more complex, which makes it impossible for employers without dedicated human resources departments to understand them let alone implement them
But the reality is such that failure to apply basic HR practices, especially in terms of fair procedures can have a devastating and disproportionate effect on the business; after all, it may only take one substantial Tribunal case award, by a disgruntled employee, to sink a small business. The cost of getting it wrong is constantly going up.
Unfortunately at present many small businesses only know that they may have breached some aspect of employment regulations when they receive notification that an employment tribunal complaint has been lodged against them. This often happens without the employer first having had the opportunity to resolve the dispute internally.
To help overcome the specific HR problems faced by small business we at CMG Consultants, are pioneering the use of Shared HR as a solution for small business where, individual small businesses or groups of small businesses, have access to what will in-effect be their own HR department.
As you may be aware there a multitude of reasons why organisations do not implement HR compliant policies & procedures, the main ones include:
- Time – Lack of time to implement, review and update – CMG Consultants provide this service
- Employee Relations – Perception that it may upset relationships with employees – This is a naïve view to take, organisations do not take this view with public liability
- Complexity – Lack of understanding - CMG Consultants provide this service
- Cost – To expensive to put in place – CMG Consultants are not expensive
CMG Consultants are in position to offer your organisation a Human Resource compliance service. These services will ensure that your business is legally compliant with all Employment Legislation and more importantly will help you deal with your employees in a consistent, fair and correct manner. CMG will install a legally compliant HR solution in the organisation and then review and maintain this service, year on year afterwards.
HR auditing involves the systematic examination of a company’s HR practices and policies. Effective audits pinpoint the gaps between ""what is being done" and "what is required." By eliminating the gaps, a company can increase legal compliance and ensure more effective management processes. In finance and accounting, auditing is routine and the same principles should apply to what is your most valuable but potentially your most volatile resource.
The specific purposes of a HR audit may include:
- To examine a company’s compliance with established employment laws and regulations.
- To streamline company practices and procedures used to carry out a particular function such as recruiting, wage & salary administration, managing leaves of absence, benefits, training, discipline & termination, etc.
- To establish an "early warning system" to spot problems or identify issues before they become crises.
- To instill a sense of confidence in management and the human resources function that it is well managed and prepared to meet potential challenges.
- To maintain or enhance the organisation’s reputation in the wider community (trade bodies, trade associations, unions).
- To perform a "due diligence" review for shareholders or potential investors/owners
Areas for specific attention while not exclusive will include:
- Legal and statutory HR compliance
- Review employee personnel files - Procedures for maintaining employee records (where, in what form, what goes in various files, how long the documents are maintained, what is being maintained)
- Current employment contracts
- Current job specifications and descriptions
- Number of employees
- Types of employees (Salary, Weekly, Hourly, F/T, P/T, Seasonal etc.)
- Formal wage and salary system
- Manager to Employee ratios
- Discussion of any recent terminations - reasons, documentation, consistency, maintenance of documentation
- Post-termination considerations (exit interviews, ensuring company equipment and passwords are returned, clearing out employee’s desk, etc)
- History of past issues (i.e. law suits, LC, LRC, EAT, claims etc.)
- Present means for administering / managing HR in your firm
- Use of technology for HR
- Valid recruiting and selection process
- Orientation/induction program
- Overview of benefits / their administration
- Employee handbook
- Absenteeism and turnover control
- Grievance resolution process
- Discipline policy and procedure
- Bullying and Harassment policy and procedure
- Training and development
- Performance management system
- Privacy issues (searches, policies on email and other electronic devices, searches, telephone use, etc., monitoring)
- Review of alcohol/drug testing procedures and policies
- Employee relations contact, communication and forums
- Key HR performance indicators
CMG will undertake one to one discussions with company directors/managers as required, to obtain specific detail of the HR process and support functions.
At the end of this service CMG will provide a report outlining your HR structures, systems, procedures and policy needs.
This service includes the following:
- Produce organisation specific Contracts / Statement of Main Terms for all staff types e.g. Permanent, Fixed, Part-time etc.
- Produce organisation specific Contract Schedules e.g. Summary of documents attached to contract, List of Deductible Items, List of Employee Benefits
- Produce organisation specific Employee Handbook outlining the various policies & procedures and including the following sample sections:
- Standards of Conduct & Professional Behaviour e.g. Professional image, Alcohol and Controlled substances, Gifts and Gratuities, Confidential information, Copyright, Expenses, Competitors, Outside employment
- Organisation Handbook e.g. Equal opportunity & Employment policy, Personnel Records, Probationary period, Hours of work, Time off, Wage & salary administration, Termination of employment, Lay off, Retirement, Holidays, Public holidays, Absence due to illness or sickness, Maternity leave, Parental leave, Adoptive leave, Force majeure leave, Jury duty, Lateness and Absenteeism, Disciplinary procedure, Grievance procedures
- Organisation Policies e.g. Harassment & bullying, Mail, internet, telephone & mobile policy, Passwords and pass codes etc.
- Employee Benefits e.g. Pension, VHI, Sick Pay, Maternity Leave etc.
- Provide Acknowledgement Documents e.g. Acknowledgement of receipt of Employee Handbook, Acknowledgement of receipt of Standards of Conduct and Professional Behaviour Section
- CMG will provide Forms to assist organisation with HR administration
CMG can if required provide a full installation service. This is where CMG will act on behalf of the Employer in installing the new contracts and employment policies & procedures within the organisation.
This service involves CMG liaising and communicating with staff of the organisation re. the acknowledgement, introduction and acceptance of the Employers contracts and employment policies & procedures.
This service includes the following:
- CMG will review and stress-test any new or changes to existing employment legislation. Examples of recent changes in legislation include:
- Provisions of Information and Consultation) Bill, 2005
- The Redundancy Payments Act 2003 (Commencement) Order, 2005
- Employment Permits Bill, 2005
- Drug Tests & Employees, Section 13(1) (c) of the Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act 2005.
- Parental Leave Bill 2005
- Adoptive Leave Bill 2005
- CMG will provide specific updates to your employee handbook, contracts etc. as required by new or changes to existing legislation.
- CMG will provide access to Management ‘How To’ Manuals e.g. Discipline & Grievance, Recruitment & Selection, Performance Appraisal etc. to assist Small Business in the application of key policies
- CMG will provide access to Standard Forms and Letters to assist organisation HR administration e.g. Exit Interview, Annual Leave, Maternity Leave, Parental Leave, Sick Leave etc.
- CMG issue regular emails of various Human Resource related topics e.g. Public Holidays, Discipline procedures etc
This service includes the following:
- CMG Consultants can provide a HR contact advisory service, available Monday to Friday between the office hours of 9am and 6pm. This service operates a maximum 24-hour turnaround policy, where all queries will be replied to in under 24 hours. In simple terms this service provides you with access to a qualified HR consultant who will provide advice on HR queries, questions or problems in your organisation.
This service can include the following:
- Production of draft recruitment documents to include: Advertisement, Pre-Interview questionnaire, Job Description and Contract of Employment
- Meeting(s) with client to agree documents above and projected recruitment timescale
- Placement of Advertisements (Client to pay all advertisement costs)
- Act as first point of contact re. queries following placement of Advertisements
- Review all applications
- Make selection for interview (with client if they so wish)
- Organise interview schedule
- Attend and Undertake interviews (with client) – (Client to provide interview location & any costs associated)
- Advise on selection of final candidate(s)
This service can include the following:
- To participate as a member of the senior management team within the organisation with direct participation and involvement in the formulation and implementation of human resource plans for the organisation at operational and strategic level.
- To continually develop and pro-actively support the necessary human resources policies and procedures to contribute to the achievement of the organisation strategic objectives.
- To co-ordinate the implementation of HR policies in organisation and advise senior contributors in the management of employee relations.
- To maintain consistently excellent employee relations through the implementation and management of fair policies in line with best practice.
- To establish arrangements and effective internal employee communications processes.
- To oversee the management of all aspects of human resource administration for the organisation.
- To manage, review and, where necessary, revise the range of employment contracts offered to staff.
- To ensure compliance with all current legislation to ensure both the employee and the organisation receive full protection and entitlements under the legislation (both national & international)
- To review and appraise pending employment legislation and interpretation of the relevance to the organisation and subsequent policy development and action plan to ensure compliance.
- To provide interpretation & where necessary arbitration on disputes arising from the contract of employment, entitlements or other work related issues.
- To undertake various HR research and other projects as required by the management team
- To contribute to the general management of the organisation through participation in relevant meetings as required.
J. Representation at Labour Court, Labour Relations Commission, Employee Appeals Tribunal, Equality Tribunal etc.
K. Human Resources Related Specific Projects e.g. Develop Induction Pack, Develop Performance Management System, Pay & Reward Systems, Benchmarking etc.