You know what most Boards are continually trying to do – get results, increase profits and de-risk the business. So how is HR supporting these strategic imperatives – we try and hire the best people and manage performance, but how do we strategically influence the risk profile of the business? We try to keep the business away from the Fair Work Commission but are we able to effectively assess & report on the employee risk profile of the business? I don’t think so…
I believe that HR can informally talk about some of the inherent risks in the business, but this is undocumented and not hugely helpful to the Exec team. Can you show where your business is following employee ‘best practice’? Do you know where the dollar risk estimate sits? Do you know what the risk appetite for the business is? Again, I think not…
It’s now more important than ever to assess your risk with a new bill – Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017 sitting before Parliament. This bill proposes increasing fines tenfold – that is from $54k per breach to more than $500k for ‘deliberate and systematic’ IR breaches. Now I am not suggesting that you are likely to fall into this category but I have yet to come across a completely compliant business in our complex ER landscape – have you?
It’s going to be even more imperative for you to be able to assess and report on your compliance and risk profile, to convince your Board that you have completed a diagnostic assessment of the business. That you believe the business is covered or that you have identified areas that require further attention.
Minter Ellison HR & IR specialist Gareth Jolly stresses “As most prosecutions generally involve multiple breaches, penalties often come to hundreds of thousands of dollars. This could now become millions where deliberate breaches are concerned.”
So what would be the value of a diagnostic tool?
- Ability to assess the employee risk sitting in the business
- Identify and de-risk the business
- Justify your business case for action
- Share progress against your starting point – prove your success
- Get a valued and financially effective seat at the Exec table
- Change the conversation from transactional to transformational
- Use as your defence (if you need to) your proven attempts to identify, assess and address the risks and potential breaches
Are you comfortable that you have a complete picture of your employee risk profile? If you need help contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.