HR professionals must ensure their organizations adhere to changing regulations. Staying on top of compliance is a legal obligation that’s also critical to maintaining a positive workplace culture and avoiding costly penalties.

Here are tips on how HR professionals can keep up with changing compliance requirements.

Collaboration With Legal Experts

The expenses associated with noncompliance have surged by over 45% in the past decade. Some regulations that may apply to organizations in the U.S. include:

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • The Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA)

Similarly, some regulations that businesses in the U.K. must follow include:

  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • The Equality Act 2010
  • Employment Relations Act 1999
  • The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE)

Violating these regulations and others can result in time-consuming legal battles and operational disruptions.

HR professionals should establish a strong working relationship with employment law attorneys or compliance consultants specializing in HR-related regulations. Regular meetings or consultations with legal experts should be arranged to discuss potential compliance issues and seek guidance on interpretations of complex rules.

When hiring legal counsel, HR professionals should select professionals with a deep understanding of their industry. Compliance requirements can vary by sector. Ensuring that legal experts are well-versed in federal, state and local regulations is crucial, as these standards can differ significantly.

Regular Compliance Audits

HR professionals should conduct compliance audits periodically, such as annually or semi-annually, to assess their organizations’ adherence to current regulations. A comprehensive checklist to review HR policies, procedures and documentation is essential to ensure alignment with the latest compliance standards.

Consider bringing external auditors or compliance specialists who can offer an unbiased assessment of the organization’s status. Developing a structured process for addressing compliance audit findings and implementing necessary changes promptly is vital. Keep a record of these actions for future reference and accountability.

Continuous Education and Training

HR professionals should invest in ongoing education and training programs to stay updated on compliance regulations and industry trends. Encouraging their team to participate in professional development opportunities is essential to enhance their knowledge and expertise in compliance management.

Subscribing to industry publications, newsletters and online resources that provide updates on regulatory changes is highly recommended.

Attending relevant seminars, webinars and conferences will provide valuable insights into new compliance requirements. Enrolling in online courses or certification programs related to HR compliance is advisable to remain current with the latest best practices and legal standards.

Document Everything

HR professionals should ensure that all HR processes, from hiring to termination, are thoroughly documented and records are maintained. Implement a standardized documentation process that includes precise, well-organized records of employee training, safety protocols and incident reports.

Consider using digital document management systems to streamline record-keeping and ensure easy retrieval of documents when needed. Document procedures for handling compliance-related issues, investigations and disciplinary actions should also be in place to maintain transparency and accountability.

Stay Informed About Industry Trends

HR professionals should actively stay informed about industry trends and their potential impact on compliance requirements. Network with peers in the industry by joining relevant associations, attending industry-specific conferences and participating in online forums.

Encourage team members to share insight and information gathered through industry connections and professional networks. Collaborate with other departments within the organization to ensure a holistic approach to compliance that considers the entire business context.

Technology Solutions

HR professionals should explore and invest in human resources management systems (HRMS) or compliance management software to automate data collection, reporting and tracking of regulatory changes. Choose software solutions that are tailored to the specific needs of their organization and can seamlessly integrate with existing HR processes to minimize human mistakes and labor requirements while attaining optimal efficiency.

Utilize technology to maintain a centralized repository for compliance-related documents and policies, making it easy to access and update information. Regularly update technology solutions to align with evolving compliance requirements and industry standards.

Create a Compliance Committee

Establishing a dedicated compliance committee within the HR department should be a priority. The committee should consist of individuals responsible for monitoring and interpreting compliance changes, ensuring that relevant policies and procedures are updated accordingly.

Schedule regular committee meetings to review compliance-related developments, share insights and discuss strategies for addressing changing requirements. Develop a communication plan to disseminate critical compliance information from the committee to the entire HR team, ensuring all members stay well-informed.

Adaptability and Flexibility

HR professionals should foster a culture of adaptability and flexibility within their teams. Encourage open communication and collaboration among team members to swiftly address emerging compliance challenges.

Develop contingency plans for scenarios where compliance requirements change suddenly and outline clear steps for adaptation and mitigation. Conduct regular debriefs after managing compliance changes to learn from experiences and improve preparedness for future shifts in regulation.

Employee Training Programs

HR professionals should develop engaging and interactive training programs to educate employees about their rights, responsibilities and company policies. Regularly update training materials to reflect changes in compliance regulations and company policies.

Ensure that training programs are accessible to all employees, including remote and part-time workers, and provide options for self-paced learning. Implement a tracking system to monitor employee participation in training and record completion certificates for compliance.

Seek Employee Feedback

HR professionals should create channels for employees to provide feedback on compliance concerns and improvement suggestions. Establish anonymous reporting mechanisms, such as whistleblower hotlines or online reporting forms, to establish unknown reporting forms to encourage open communication.

Conduct regular surveys or focus groups to gain insights into employee perspectives on compliance issues. Ensure that feedback mechanisms are user-friendly and confidential, fostering trust among employees who wish to report compliance-related matters.

Staying on Top of Changing Compliance Requirements

HR professionals are at the forefront of ensuring their organizations meet and exceed compliance requirements. Embracing these tips, they can not only navigate the changing compliance landscape but also drive a culture of accountability and ethical conduct, ultimately fostering a positive and compliant workplace environment for all. Remember, compliance is not just a legal obligation — it is a commitment to excellence in HR management.

This post was supplied to by Zac Amos of