The Role of HR Compliance

Carol Smith

Carol Smith


18 Apr 2019


At Croner, we use the term ‘HR compliance’ quite a lot.

This is due to the fact compliance is essential not just for the successful running of your business, but to avoid severe fines and criminal charges.

But a commitment to remaining compliant means nothing if you don’t know what it is. And in this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know.

What is HR compliance?

It’s the commitment of your business to follow the working standards set out by UK employment law.

This affects your policies, procedures and documentation, as well as day-to-day responsibilities.

It also means your employees must receive all entitlements due to them as set out in their employment contract.

One of the biggest challenges when taking on legal compliance in HR is remaining compliant.

Why? As UK employment law is constantly changing and updating. Some of these changes occur annually and are easy to prepare for, such as national minimum wage increases.

Others might occur due to a tribunal ruling or other external factor, such as changes to gig economy laws.

What is statutory compliance in HR?

It’s wording such as this that often confuses people. So let’s break it down.

If we want to get very specific, you can refer to three different types of compliance:

Statutory compliance refers to the legal obligation for an organisation to be compliant.

So, if new legislation passes saying that you must tint all windows in an office so as to reduce employees’ exposure to natural light—that would be a statutory obligation.

Failure to abide by this law could result in criminal charges.

Regulatory compliance refers to a legal obligation a regulating body issues.

The HSE, for example, is a regulating body, but is able to issue legal requirements relating to health & safety.

Like a statutory obligation, you could face criminal charges if you fail to adhere to it.

Finally, contractual compliance refers to an obligation made between yourself and the employee via an employment contract (or any other contract made between you and the other party).

As a contract is a legally binding document, any commitment made within a contract that you fail to meet could result in criminal charges.

HR compliance training

Keeping up to date with employment law updates and updating and amending appropriate document, policies, and contracts within the business is a daunting task.

That is why it’s a good idea to provide HR compliance training.

Croner offer a number of training courses that not only help you become compliant, but stay that way.

For a full breakdown of the training service we provide, take a look at Croner Face2Face.

HR compliance audit checklist

A good place to start is by drafting a checklist of all of the different areas you want to ensure remain compliant.

You can be as specific with this as you like, narrowing the list down to each and every document, policy and procedure you want to audit.

To help you there, here’s a list of the areas you should review in any good HR compliance checklist on UK employment law:

  • Current employee handbook.
  • Stand-alone policies.
  • Company guidelines.
  • Training of supervisors.
  • Practices relating to:
    • Annual leave.
    • Complaint procedure.
    • Internal investigations.
    • End of contract.

It’s also worth checking that all policies are consistent, comprehensible, and accessible. Ensure they reflect any and all relevant, legal developments.

Finally, make sure your employees acknowledge the receipt of policies with signed forms. You should keep them on file should you need to refer to them at a later date.

Not sure if you’re compliant?

Croner offer HR compliance software and service solutions to ensure remaining compliant isn’t an everyday concern. Contact us today on 01455 858 132.

About the Author

Carol Smith

Carol joined Croner in 2001 as an Employment Consultant advising a wide range of clients on all aspects of Employment Law and HR practice. She demonstrates particular expertise in complex disciplinary, grievance matters and reorganisation / redundancy.


Carol Smith

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