Managing HR compliance in the age of technology
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You may have heard about the $177,800 fine faced by Dollar Tree Stores or the case wherein The Department of Labour’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) obtained a consent judgment of around $1 million to secure the payment of back wages from Manna (a restaurant chain operating in New York). In fact, a wrongful termination suit could set a business back by $ 500,000 and for discrimination lawsuits, the numbers tend to go up to millions. In a case based on religious discrimination, a security guard was awarded $500,000 after he was harassed and prevented from praying at work. Even the allegation of bribery not handled well can be prohibitively expensive. At one point of time, Walmart has reportedly spent over $600 million on its investigation of allegations of corruption in Mexico.
It is evident through these several examples that non-compliance with a country’s labour laws can have a huge impact on the brand and the bottom-line of a business. Businesses are fined hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars post an audit or a lawsuit when the records and practices are proved to be non-compliant with existing employment regulations. The role of an HR leader also transcends into ensuring that the company remains compliant with labour laws and business processes. It is crucial for HR leaders to find strategic ways to monitor whether their companies are following processes that are compliant by a particular country’s sets of laws.
Managing, following and monitoring the compliances part of every business process with relevant rules and regulations during runtime has evolved as a major concern in reality. By monitoring, one not only relates to continuously observing possible compliance violations but also includes predicting possible compliance violations in the future too. Technology has proven to be a great boon in helping solve this critical challenge.
Tech and transparency goes hand in hand
Having a complete and thorough understanding of corporate compliance is crucial to protecting your business in the years to come. The evolution of more employer-related laws and constant changes in the legislation has made it necessary for business owners to remain up-to-date on policies, procedures and training, on a real time basis. With technology based compliance softwares challenging processes have become easy. HR leaders can customize them as per the organization’s need and effectively manage the running of the company, thereby reducing business risks.
Enhances control and monitoring
Through an intelligent dashboard, alerts, and analytics coupled with real-time, cloud based platforms, managing compliances has become far more effective and less cumbersome. Thanks to the interactive global compliance command centres that are gradually been taken care of for allowing HR and compliance teams to change priorities, delegate activities and monitor progress, it enables proactive alerts, notifications, and escalations to eliminate any predictive challenges.
Resolves interdepartmental conflict
This is an underrated advantage, however, very critical in its true sense. In reality, the HR and finance teams are at loggerheads most of the times owing to the thin line of difference of accountability when it comes to compliances. Especially when it comes to the area of payroll, there have been challenges that even spotted by an auditor. Through technology, maintaining timesheets and synchronizing with payroll via an automated system help in allowing accurate time and wage tracking, filing timely returns and prevents conflicts during various internal audit processes.
Then, what’s the challenge?
It is clearly evident that newer technology driven solutions have emerged to protect businesses from non-compliances. However, there is still a challenge looming on the data privacy part as hackers are gradually beginning to exploit these vast data reservoirs to tap into sensitive employee information. So, along with technology and digitalization, comes the need to formulate data privacy compliance plans as well. With GDPR in place for EUs, the cycle of solutions has started to take its shape, though only time can prove on the predictions of its success.
To summarize, one can easily reflect how compliance programs are becoming an integral part of businesses in every country. The business community has increasingly embraced compliance as a way to mitigate regulatory risk, expensive settlements, and even to appeal to new customers. As a result, few companies today can afford not to have an effective compliance program that meets global standards.
Hence, companies need to mount an affirmative defence to keep an effective compliance system in place by using technology as an enabler in the coming years. However, there’s a very relevant point when it comes to managing privacy for the HR/compliance team in the organisation. As HR tasks move away from paper, the challenge of keeping online data safe needs to be dealt with much caution by collaborating with internal tech function to make sure that the technology they’re using meets the needs of compliance.
To know more about how you leaders can capitalize on technology to conduct seamless compliance processes in your companies, join us for a chat with HR leaders from across the globe at TechHR Singapore on 28th February, 2019 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Register now!