Human Resource Responsibilities

Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis


12 Mar 2019


What is the role of HR in the workplace and what are the duties and responsibilities of human resources managers? Businesses across the country often receive floods of questions.

Most are relating to genuine HR queries, but others are simply questioning its existence.

Determining exactly what it is that your human resources department should and shouldn’t be responsible for is a vital step—not only in justifying its existence—but encouraging smooth operation.

The role of HR departments

What does HR do? Human resources describe the people who work for a business, but it also covers the department that’s responsible for managing resources involving staff members.

You may associate it with much larger firms, as many smaller businesses often do, but in the modern era, it’s possible for SMEs to have a department. Or they can rely on 24 hour HR consultancy services.

With employment tribunals continually on the rise, massive shifts in employment law on the horizon, and naming and shaming for non-compliant firms now the new-norm, it’s more vital than ever to have the support of a human resources expert, if not a whole team.

What are the duties of HR departments? Breaking it down to its most simple form (there’s a more detailed look further below), the main responsibilities are:

  • Employee training.
  • Pay and compensation.
  • Employee benefits.
  • Employee relationships.
  • responsibilities and compliance.

There are many human resources responsibilities, most of them should fit into one of the above categories. But what do each of them entail, and who should be responsible for them?


HR responsibilities and duties in a company

Depending on your organisation’s capacity, you may choose to assign each responsibility to an individual within your team.

Returning to that question we regularly receive, “What is HR responsible for?” Let’s take a closer look at what each area involves:

  • Recruitment: Manages recruiting and screening staff, conducting interviews, developing staff handbooks and policies and procedures relating to new hires.
  • Employee training: Responsible for creating training programs as well as conducting them, determining the training needs of employees in different departments and managing training budgets.
  • Pay and compensation: Handles working with payroll to ensure employees get paid on time and correctly. Other responsibilities include pensions, bonuses and compensation.
  • Employee benefits: Responsible for managing all employee benefits, including insurance, fitness, care, disability, and wellness programs. May also be responsible for tracking employee absences and benefit eligibility.
  • Employee relationships: Manages the relationship between employees (such as with staff and management). This includes minor disputes as well as communication between the organisation and trade unions.
  • Legal responsibilities and compliance: Responsible for ensuring the company remains compliant with current employment law, as well as communicating any changes to the relevant departments and handling internal legal matters, including investigations into harassment, discrimination or gross misconduct.

So, those are the various HR roles and responsibilities, but what if your HR team has grown too large, or is taking on too much responsibility? If your team is struggling, it may be time to appoint a manager.

What are the duties and responsibilities of HR managers?

While different in every organisation, one of the key roles of the HR manager is to manage, create, implement and supervise policies, procedures and contracts.

It’s also their job to ensure the smooth operation of the HR team and functionality as a whole.

The list of responsibilities for an HR manager can be vast, so here are just a few of the regular tasks they carry out:

  • Develop policies and procedures.
  • Provide advice on key employment law update and benefit entitlement.
  • Manage and oversee any disputes, disciplinaries, grievances, absences, retirements and redundancies.
  • Support the recruitment process.
  • Ensure the organisation's HR strategy and business goals align.

Want further advice?

If you need more information or would like assistance with a particular HR issue, speak to a Croner expert today on 01455 858 132.

About the Author

Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis is the senior manager of the Litigation and Employment Department and assumes additional responsibility for managing Croner’s office based telephone HR advisory teams, who specialise in Employment law, HR and Commercial Legal advice for large organisations across the United Kingdom.


Andrew Willis

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