Why we developed HR Assured
If you are considering investing in HR Assured to help you with your workplace relations management, and want to understand the benefits that it can bring to your business, it may help to learn a bit about the HR Assured story.
We are a team of workplace relations experts based at the FCB Group, Australia’s leading workplace relations service provider. We have experience working with a wide range of clients, including a number of industry associations.
Over the years, we noticed that Australian businesses weren’t being well served by the traditional way they ran their human resources departments. We saw them struggle with archaic people-management systems that largely failed to keep up with Australia’s complex and constantly evolving workplace relations system.
When things went wrong, they were forced to call in expensive teams of lawyers. If the matter was serious, it often wasn’t long before their legal costs started to spiral out of control. At best, this cut into profits and acted as a major distraction. At worst, we saw it cause perfectly healthy businesses to collapse.
What are the main workplace issues currently faced by Australian businesses?
There is no doubt that life has become more difficult for employers with the introduction of the Fair Work Act (Cth) (2009). The legislation means that there is a greater chance of an employee bringing an action for unfair dismissal or under the general protections provisions. Currently in Australia, there are approximately 14,000 unfair dismissal claims per year and 4,500 general protection claims. These are expected to increase. The introduction of the modern award process has added complexity to issues such as terms and conditions, as well as entitlements.
The introduction of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth) has placed additional obligations on employers regarding ensuring the welfare and wellbeing of their employees. Businesses now need to have a detailed understanding of the workplace health and safety framework, because they are obliged to undertake due diligence in relation to workplace health and safety and to implement measures to mitigate their risks. If they fail to do so, the business, and even its officers, may be fined.
The introduction of the bullying and harassment regime at the beginning of 2014 meant that businesses faced the possibility of a whole new category of claims.
What did we identify as the main problems with the old-fashioned approach to workplace relations management after the introduction of the Fair Work Act?
We saw four main problems with this out-of-date approach to workplace relations management.
First, it ignored the reality that people issues should not be secondary, but integral, to all commercial decisions.
Second, it meant that the way most businesses managed their people was inefficient, which ultimately adversely affected their profitability.
Third, we could see that a large percentage of Australian businesses were struggling with the new legislative framework.
Fourth, as we’ve pointed out, when there was a HR crisis, most businesses relied on a reactive, rather than proactive, strategy. In practice, this meant that they had no choice but to call in a team of expensive lawyers to solve the problem and shut their eyes when the legal bills landed on their desks at the end of every month.
What did we decide to do about the problem?
At FCB Group, we decided that there had to be a better way for businesses to manage their people.
So, we asked our team of specialist employment lawyers, workplace relations consultants and technology experts to come up with a complete human resources management system that would protect businesses, rather than leave them vulnerable.
We informed them this new system would need to achieve five key objectives:
- Ensure that businesses’ HR management practices comply with Australia’s complicated and continually changing employment laws on an ongoing basis
- Give businesses on-demand access to high-quality employment law advice
- Protect businesses from employment-related claims
- Ensure that business are run more fairly and safely
- Deliver a workplace relations system where the priority was outstanding product delivery and exceptional service.
We also told them that each of these objectives had to be part of a single package that could be delivered to clients for a reasonable price. Finally, we said that they had to use their experience from their combined years working in the workplace relations field, as well as their collective intelligence, to come up with a smart and innovative solution.
They came back to us with HR Assured.
How does HR Assured ensure Australian businesses have a thick skin?
HR Assured cuts through the grey and empowers businesses by ensuring they are compliant, as well as taking the risk out of people management.
What are the basic principles behind HR Assured?
HR Assured is based on four principles that we believe are essential to ensuring businesses maximise profitability through the efficient management of their employees:
We believe that it is vital your business has the knowledge not only to manage your people efficiently but to ensure it is compliant with the Fair Work Act and the Work Health and Safety regulations, as well as the modern awards.
In addition, workplace relations laws in Australia are constantly changing, and it is important that you have the tools to keep on top of any changes so you can ensure your business is compliant.
How do we empower your business with the most up-to-date knowledge of how to manage your people?
We have invested heavily in technology so we can provide your business with an easy-to-use web-based HR support system.
HRA Cloud provides your business with:
- An easy-to-use cradle-to-grave employee-lifecycle management tool where you can store all your employment documentation
- Bespoke employment documentation (which is constantly updated by our lawyers), ensuring that you are always compliant
- Updates and news alerts that keep you informed of any new developments in workplace relations.
At FCB Group, we have specialised in workplace consulting and legal advice for over 20 years and have an unparalleled reputation for excellence.
How do we give you access to our experts?
We give you unlimited access to our workplace relations specialists-whenever you need them via our Telephone Advisory Service. If you need advice on any issue, you can call us and talk to one of our highly trained consultants.
If the matter is more complicated, meaning you need to talk to a lawyer or you are facing a claim, your matter will be managed by a solicitor within FCB Workplace Law, meaning that your workplace relations issues never leave the FCB family.
How do we ensure that you have access to vital resources and advice whenever you need it?
We know that if you are going to manage your employees efficiently, it helps if your HR documentation is stored in a central location where it can be accessed at any time, from anywhere. This is why we came up with HRA Cloud.
We also believe you should have access to expert advice around the clock, every day of the year.
How do we ensure that your business will be protected from claims?
As part of the HR Assured package, provided you have sought and followed our advice, we provide you with insurance that covers your business in the event you are faced with a claim up to the value of $2 million.
We also provide you with full legal representation through FCB Group’s law firm, FCB Workplace Law the leading workplace relations firm in Australia. The insurance and representation is provided at no additional cost to your business, with no excess payable.