Out-dated policies pose liability risks for HR
HR professionals can be held personally liable for failing to implement procedures they may not have known existed, an employment lawyer has warned an HR Daily webinar.
Keep your knowledge up to dateHR professionals must ensure they are aware of relevant laws when it comes to making potentially adverse decisions affecting employees, Noonan says.
"Make sure you're educated and knowledgeable in your area, and that you're not stepping into an area that you're not either trained in or comfortable being involved in without full resources and knowledge of the matter.
"That means preparing in advance for serious discussions with employees... knowing your rights - what you can and can't do... and knowing which modern awards apply."
It also means making sure your organisation's employment contracts and policies are up to date, Noonan says.
"It's often in those provisions that might have been prepared many years before you came to the organisation, that you find what may be grievance procedures, performance management procedures, and procedures that are arguably contractual in nature, or at least need to be complied with by the organisation.
"Often you see these cases arising out of situations where an employee was entitled to be afforded some sort of procedure, and that procedure wasn't followed. So be aware of the law and your organisation's procedures."
Does it smell right?HR professionals should always ask themselves, "Why am I making this decision?" Noonan told the webinar.
"Unless in answer to that question there's a sound business reason or a lawful reason, a decision maker does need to consider whether that decision may expose the organisation to liability."
Workplace laws are "by and large reasonably practicable and pragmatic - it's a bit of a 'smell test'", he says.
"If it doesn't smell all right it probably isn't. So stop before you make a decision and get some advice."
The full presentation (including Q&A session), is available to watch on demand on HRD Plus. Click here to watch it (HRD Plus Gold subscription required).
Praise for "Adverse Action - Know your risks"
I really appreciated the practical approach taken on the subject of AA and now have stronger understanding of not just the actions that may be subject to an AA claim but practices that can be reinforced to best protect the organisation and defend such a claim. Michele Woodhouse
Best webinar I have ever done ... also the most scary! Robyn Rundle
I really enjoyed the webinar and found it to be very informative and well presented. Jessica MacIntosh