July 3, 2021

How to avoid business fines: HR edition

In a world where working models are changing and there is a growing backlog of employment tribunals, it’s important to look to your HR department as a safety net, not as a cause for concern.

Here’s how to avoid business fines when it comes to your HR processes.

Carefully consider risk assessments

Due to the pandemic, HR staff and departments have been expected to carry out more risk assessments than ever before.

If an issue comes up when conducting these risk assessments, businesses must carefully consider what their next action is to rectify this. If your risk assessment has identified something that needs to be addressed and you refuse or fail to make changes, then you’re in serious breach of your H&S obligations.

HSE fines are common and can be as large as £20,000. And it’s not just the money you need to worry about: business directors can be prosecuted, and workplaces even closed due to not fulfilling your obligations.

Right to work checks

As a business you are under legal obligation to prevent illegal working in the UK. Don’t play by the rules? Well, you could be slapped with a fine of up to £20,000.

As an employer you’re responsible for conducting right to work checks, and these are most probably going to fall onto your HR department. This involves carrying out a series of checks on passports and visas before hiring any employee and where an existing employee has some restriction on their right to work in the UK, ensuring they keep paperwork up to date

Confused about the impact of Brexit on the legality around this topic? Watch our video on Brexit and right to work checks in under 10 minutes.

GDPR compliance

In a world where a huge number of us are working remotely, it’s incredibly important to keep in mind the ever-pressing issues around data protection. Remote working opens the door to breaches, and with those breaches can come fines. Your HR department should be ensuring that employees are up to date with their compliance training, including new processes if they are working from home, and your IT department needs to be proactively  looking to reduce phishing attacks and the risk of data breaches.

Get expert advice

Despite all the best intentions, inevitably there are times when the knowledge of in-house teams can fall short. It pays to get expert advice to minimise the risk of employment tribunals, giving you the peace of mind that you are receiving the best possible support and protection.

Our Employment Law Solicitors service supports HR teams across a wide range of industries, offering bespoke  Employment Law advice. Our qualified specialists are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and are on hand to provide tailored support on any employment law topic.

Find out how our HR Software and HR Consultancy Services can support your HR department.

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About the author

Audrey Robertson

About the author

Audrey Robertson

HR Consultancy & Insurance Manager, Audrey, has a strong background in HR, Employment Law and related insurances in a career spanning over 15 years leading teams in-house and as a consultant supporting clients across retail, education and the B2B sectors. At Moorepay, Audrey heads up the Policy & HR Consultancy team as well as the insurance claims department. With a strong commitment and investment in employee wellbeing, having studied counselling and coaching, Audrey is a qualified Mental Health First Aider and supports our staff on-site.

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