As spring is upon us, it is an appropriate time of the year for
an organization to perform an audit of its human resources process.
HR audits ensure regulatory and organizational policy compliance,
while proactively pursuing internal efficiencies and excellence.
Regular and systematic audits demonstrate due-diligence to
regulatory bodies (e.g. Ministry of Labour) and promote a
proactive, preventative approach to HR issues, subsequently
reducing risk and liabilities.
An efficient human resources process generates effective
practices, cost reduction, increased productivity, employee
engagement and continual improvement. Areas of focus for a human
resources audit include:
Ensure that the following items are included in an
employee's personnel file, where applicable:
Application for employment
Background check consent forms and subsequent results
Signed offers of employment, promotions, lateral position
Written agreements (e.g. excess hours of work, overtime)
Acknowledgement sign-offs on organizational policies (e.g. code
of ethics, confidentiality and patent agreements, etc.)
Employee profile and emergency contacts
Vacation time records
Federal and Provincial TD1 forms
Direct deposit authorization forms
Dependent information for benefits purposes
Beneficiary designations (where applicable)
Documentation pertaining to leaves of absence (e.g. parental,
family medical, personal emergency)
Documented disciplinary records
Termination and exit documentation
Internal Organizational Policies
If regulations, guidelines or internal practices have changed,
it is important to ensure that all internal policies are current,
up-to-date and reflective of present realities. It is also
important to ensure that employees are aware of and have been
trained on new or updated policies and that copies are
Termination and Exit Process
Administering an exit checklist for any individual leaving the
employment of the organization serves many purposes, including
ensuring the continued confidentiality of organizational
information. The checklist should include termination of systems
access, return of organizational property and a reminder to
employees of their responsibilities after leaving the
Completing an exit interview will provide the organization with
information on what it is doing well and necessary areas for
improvement. These improvement opportunities should be adapted into
specific action items to mitigate particular areas of concern and
ensure retention of top talent.
An effective performance management process involves setting
clear and transparent expectations for employees. Review the
organization's job descriptions in order to ensure that they
are relevant and up-to-date; this will provide for appropriate goal
setting aligned with the organization's core competencies.
In order to contain costs, it is important to do a regular audit
of dependents and beneficiaries, as they relate to health and
welfare benefits. Ensure the dependents listed are eligible for
health and welfare benefits, and that required proof-of-dependency
documentation is contained in the employee's file (e.g. birth
certificate(s), marriage certificate, confirmation of school
attendance, beneficiary designation, etc.).
Training & Development
Are your organization's regulatory and internal training
requirements current and up-to-date? Prepare a training matrix
identifying training requirements for positions in all areas of the
business. Identify when training is completed and when training is
set to expire in order to ensure necessary regulatory requirements
are continually met (e.g. violence & harassment in the
workplace – Bill 168, OHSA, WHMIS, AODA etc.). As a reminder,
the Ministry of Labour's new training requirements (http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/training/)
must be met by July 1st, 2014.
Health & Safety
Review Joint Health & Safety Committee meeting minutes. Are
regular meetings being held and inspections being conducted, in
accordance with the Occupational Health & Safety Act?
Regular meetings and inspections will seek to ensure that potential
risks are identified and workplace accidents are reduced or
Best Practice Tip...
Document, document, document! Ensuring that the
organization has documented all necessary aspects of the employment
relationship, from hire-to-retire, will demonstrate adherence to
legislative requirements, consistency, and may be admissible as
corroborating evidence during litigation, if necessary.
Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
A former teacher at Bodwell High School has learned a valuable lesson from the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal— it is not discriminatory for an employer to offer child-related benefits to only employees with children.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
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