Thursday, January 5, 2012

Injuries, Performance, Hiring and Return to Work: Due Diligence

Human Resources professionals know the value of ensuring your company does its due diligence and maintains thorough, organized records of the many employee related issues that tend to come up in the workplace. There are several reasons for this. First it’s your source for information on just what’s happening in your workplace; who’s performing well, who’s performing poorly? Are injuries going up or down? Who’s missing time and why?  When you compile the data recorded over 6 months, a year, five years etc. you can really learn a lot about your own workplace, see where you can make improvements and if your improvement measures have worked. In addition when your employees come to you for a raise or time off what do you have to show them as justification, have you maintained records of when staff have been off, have you kept performance reviews? Without documentation you don’t have much to base your decisions on. This leads to maybe the most important point regarding the need to keep up on your due diligence. Every year there are thousands of claims made to the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Ministry of Labour regarding health and safety claims, wrongful dismissals and discrimination in hiring to name a few but many of these claims are proven to be false and business owners are spared thousands of dollars in severance pay and fines simply because they have conducted their business properly and have the documentation to fall back on when needed. Make sure that you’ve done your due diligence, keep good records and have had employees sign off when their acknowledgement is needed; it’ll save you many headaches and there’s a good chance it could save you some money. 

John Ruyter, HRNC

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