Dear manager, make things easier for you – 10 HR law tips to the manager


As a manager, you can’t just “outsource” HR law to the HR department. All HR management starts and ends with you. That is why you play a key role.

You have the day-to-day contact with the employee and you will be the first to face the challenges when the employee has excessive absences from work, does not cooperate, underperforms, does not take holidays, is disloyal, is to be terminated with or without notice, etc.

You need to know the classic pitfalls, think about HR law as early as possible and get help in time, so that the HR department does not need to firefight once again.

Here are my ten tips to you if you want to make things easier for you:

1. Stay ahead – HR management begins and ends with you

Recognize you play a key role to secure compliance with HR law – you are closer to the employee than the HR department

Get an overview of HR law and take it into account early

Get documentation in writing

2. Walk the talk – Doing nothing is the root of all evil

Act! – problems with employees don’t go away by themselves, they require action. The most typical mistake among managers is inaction, which has undesirable consequences – both managerial and legal

Listen, clear misunderstandings and align expectations – follow up as soon as possible

Give a warning, if need be

3. Take on management – remember your managerial right and duty

Lead and distribute the work – you decide who, when, and how – you have the right of instruction

Use your managerial right to ensure best use of company resources – follow up and handle problems

Remember your obligation to manage – take your management role seriously and show character

4. Know the illegal criteria – avoid discrimination

Know the illegal criteria such as gender, pregnancy, disability, age, ethnicity, sexuality, religious and political convictions

Do not let them influence your management decisions – whether upon recruitment, during employment or upon dismissal

Understand that documentation requirements are higher in cases of alleged discrimination

5. Communicate clearly – give the necessary warning

Understand that you do everybody a favour by not giving the necessary warning – the problem will just escalate

Remember that warnings also give the employees’ legal certainty – a second chance to improve themselves

Make sure that the legal requirements for a warning are met

6. Make your employees understand you care – also the sick

Follow up on your employee’s absence, engage and have an absence conversation – without asking for information about the sickness

Ask for documentation (medical certificate), if necessary

Listen to your employee’s private issues but do not necessarily help solve them (depending on your personal management style and the corporate culture of your business)

7. Send your staff on holiday – also for your own sake

Ensure that holidays of your employees are scheduled and held during the holiday year according to company’s guidelines – this is a manager’s duty

Understand that poor holiday planning and follow-up have consequences for your employees’ health, the company’s working environment and financial performance

8. Take care of personal data – including references

Ensure that the Personal Data Protection Act is observed upon recruitment, during employment and at dismissal

Get a written consent (voluntary, informed and specific), both when you give and receive personal data such as references

Understand that protection of personal data is here to stay – (New EU regulation with effect from May 2018 is on its way)

9. Beware of the employee’s emails and text messages

Be careful not to read your employee´s emails and messages, even if you have a suspicion – the secrecy of correspondence protected by the Criminal Code also applies here

Get legal advice – both on HR law, personal data law and criminal law, before you take any action

10. Avoid firefighting and get advice in good time

Always get legal advice when changing terms or terminating with or without notice – employment relationships are highly regulated

Mistakes are costly – both in terms of management, human and financial costs


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