COVID-19 and the HRM hot seat

Human resource (HR) management has always played an integral role within business, but the catchphrase, “now more than ever” rings true for anyone currently in the HR hot seat.  The onset of COVID-19 has brought the importance of having solid HRM systems in place into the spotlight.

When everyone is learning to work differently, maintaining company culture can significantly impact the company’s overall performance. Strategies, including investing in learning and development and updating work health and safety plans, can also support the organisation’s responsiveness. Solid HRM is important for managing your workforce as well as enabling speedy response and adherence to ever-changing government requirements.

As COVID-19 and our new normal evolve, HR is critical in initiating and managing the response to new government policies. You need to be able to quickly and confidently communicate with your workforce and enforce regulations. Your HRM needs to, for example, be able to figure out how to migrate the organisation to work remotely or manage labour demand during lockdown. If you are an ‘essential service’ this might mean identifying how employees can work without endangering themselves or the community.

Despite restrictions beginning to ease in QLD, for the time being, the journey is continuous for HR managers. As organisations navigate their post-covid recovery strategy, one of the most important aspects of HRM is the need to reassess and ensure WHS compliance. This is particularly important when returning to work.

Organisations need to consider how to safely migrate employees back into the workplace while adhering to strict social distancing requirements. What this will look like will vary from organisation to organisation, depending on your structure and business needs. It can also change at the drop of a hat. HR leaders need to be across these changes and have the HRM systems in place to pivot and react.

Help is at hand

To support you, the Fairwork Ombudsman has published a reference guide outlining Australia’s workplace law in relation to Coronavirus. As you are aware, providing a safe work environment is the responsibility of every employer. Employers have a duty under the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws to eliminate, or if that is not reasonably practicable, minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.

The linked website does a fantastic job of providing a practical quick reference to information such as:

    • Covid-19 Vaccinations – rights and obligations
    • Workplace health and safety issues
    • Privacy rights and obligations
    • Financial support
    • Casual employment

The linked information is updated regularly.

Talk to us

If you need help navigating COVID-19 regulations, implementing a CovidSafe plan, or setting up or refreshing your HRM systems to cope with recent changes in your workplace, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Masula Compliance for expert advice and support.

Get in touch with the team from Masula Compliance on 07 3348 3666 or email