Employment law covers myriad practices and interpretations, statutes, rulings, legislation, as well as federal and state laws. Companies, regardless of size, are expected to be not only updated regarding these prevailing labor laws but also fully compliant. This is by no means an easy task. Some organizations have an in-house legal department or an in-house team of lawyers and assistants to handle all their workplace law concerns. Smaller companies, however, typically don’t have a legal department. That’s why for most of these companies, hiring a human resources service provider that can provide them with a team of experts on laws regarding employment.
Which employment issues would need sound legal advice and possible legal representation? A number of them: from recruitment and hiring, all the way to end of employment. During the recruitment and hiring process, a company would definitely need expert advice on drafting the employment contract, on drafting company procedures and policies, and on addressing employment conditions and occupational safety and health.
During the drafting and making of an Enterprise Agreement, a team – in house or outsourced – of experts on employment law should be on hand to draft and lodge the agreement and to appear for matters related to Enterprise Agreement. Legal experts should also assist during calculation of wages and for Enterprise Agreement terminations and variations.
Issues connected with Industrial Relations and disputes – such as good faith bargaining, disputes and union right of entry – would also need the advice and guidance of labor law experts. Issues regarding wages claims would also be in critical need of legal advice and possible representation. The issues under this category include reporting and auditing, advice on and legal representation during wage claims, National Employment Standards and applicable industrial instruments and record keeping obligations.
Discrimination and harassment is another employment issue that requires legal advice from experts in labour laws. Under this category, a company would need legal counsel and representation before tribunals or courts to handle harassment and discrimination cases.
Hiring a serving provider for expert advice on workplace laws has turned out to be a smart move for most companies. Outsourcing not only helped them save on costs, time, and energy but they also benefited from the expertise of a legal team that are consistently updated on existing labor laws even as the company itself no longer had to worry about the constant demand to for additional training that an in-house team would require.
When choosing an HR service provider for advice on employment law, go for the service provider with a legal team composed of experts on workplace laws and other related issues. The team should have a good track record and impressive credentials, education, training and experience. If there are specific issues related to labor laws that the company often needs to manage, you might want to consider the service provider that is a known expert in these specific labor law issues. Your legal team, by the way, should always be able to provide you with as much assistance and clarification – with as little legal jargon possible – as you need so that you would be fully aware of the legal issues that the company is currently addressing.