There are so many factors that HR consultants or managers need to be aware of, that it can be difficult to stay on top of it all. Something that can be overlooked is the legal obligation of providing “favourable conditions of work”. As this term is rather general it’s best to know exactly what is meant when referring to these conditions so you can advise on how to provide them.
Although the specific mandatory regulations do differ depending on jurisdiction, there are some common factors, which will be presented in this article.
Employers are contractually obligated to pay their employees in accordance with minimum wage laws and tax laws. This, I’m sure, you’re aware of, but beware he variance which can occur during socioeconomic change of a region or if the position requires a certain skill set. Enough of a wage must be provided to justify typical living expenses. If this is not met, then legal action for medical negligence can be taken against you and your business.
2. Workplace Safety
Providing workplace safety may sound like it only applies to more hazard prone industries such as construction or agriculture, and indeed there is a “right to take workplace risk” which applies to drivers and pilots, but an employer still is legally obligated to provide a safe work environment no matter what industry or how big/small the business is.
There are only three defences available for an employer to claim to not be responsible for the death or injury of an employee. These are contributory negligence (in which the employee is partially to blame), assumption of risk, and fellow servant rule. In all other circumstances the employer takes responsibility for any safety or medical negligence which results in any of their workers suffering. Knowing your work area and keeping an eye out for potentially hazardous situations is important to avoid personal injury court cases.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act established a code of minimum regulations which serves as a legal standard. The best rule to apply to workplace safety is common sense. High risks jobs with increased fatality rates and histories of medical negligence should not be undertaken by those with little or no experience. Employers are obligated to ensure that there is minimum risk on the job, and also recognize the importance of the health of their employees.
As HR you can keep an eye on industry and economic changes to make sure that all employees continue to receive the legal amount of wage depending on their skill set and socio-economic situation, as well as ensuring that the workplace is safe for all. This includes observation skills to spot potential hazards before they turn into an accident, and creating safety regulations which all employees are obligated to read and follow.
Find out more about personal injury claims and medical negligence. This article was written on behalf of Pannone LLP.