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What does HR do for me?

Interviews General Queries
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Bhanu Gupta


( 6 months ago )

Location: England. Industry: IT, Software Development

I recently contacted HR about my manager's way of communicating with me. My understanding is that if I have an issue at work, and it is not something that I can resolve peacefully myself, then I should take it to my manager. However in the situation where the issue is with your manager, you would go to HR (or if you manager is not able to fix the issue you're having, then go to HR.).

What I want to understand better is what does HR do when I bring up an issue with them, especially when I bring an issue up about my manager?

What can I expect as a result of raising and issue, and are there any pitfalls that could cause me more trouble at work? Over all, what does HR do?

There's a lot of information on what HR is meant to do all over the internet, so case specific to England would be great.

Peter Jarvis


( 6 months ago )

The primary purpose of HR is to ensure that the company and its employees are complying with the labor laws of your locale, that company policies are in compliance with your locale's labor laws and that employees including management are in compliance with company policy. Ideally, HR should be independent of management but the reality is that top management has high influence over HR and in many smaller outfits where HR is run as a less than professional operation, HR is at the beck and call of management. You could say that HR is here to protect the company and that HR protects the company by ensuring that the company and its employees are in compliance. Anything that HR does such as producing the employee handbook and educating the employees on company policies including benefits is aimed at ensuring compliance as smoothly as possible. Don't ever get the idea that HR is here to dispense justice.

If you escalate anything to HR, the first thing they'll check is whether there is anything in the issue that involves a potential violation of labor laws as complied with by the company or a violation of company policy as interpreted by HR - remember that in practical terms, top management may exert undue influence. If top management signs your paychecks, then they have influence on you.

HR can take corrective action only if HR can determine that your locale's labor laws were not complied with or that there was a violation of company policy. And their corrective action will be limited to bringing the company and its employees back into compliance, by disciplinary action if that's what it takes.

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