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Guest Blog Post from IDC: HR Compliance Comes in Many Forms

This blog, co-authored by Lisa Rowan, Vice President of Modern HR Strategies at IDC and Holly Muscolino, Group Vice President of Content Strategies and the Future of Work at IDC, discuss the critical role HR document management technology solutions play in supporting HR’s compliance needs.  


HR Compliance Comes in Many Forms

Date: August 2022

Guest IDC Bloggers: Lisa Rowan, VP Modern HR Strategies and Holly Muscolino, GVP of Content Strategies and the Future of Work

Sponsored By: SAP

There are numerous and varied responsibilities attributed to HR leadership and the HR team. From securing the right talent to managing employee separations, HR has a hand in every step of the employee life cycle. And each step of that life cycle involves the management of data and stewardship over the many documents involved. Managing workforce data and all the corresponding documents brings with it a pressing need to achieve compliance. Compliance is a critical responsibility for any global organization, but one that is often overlooked and under resourced.

The following are just a few examples of laws around which HR needs to spearhead compliance:

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes rules for minimum wage, overtime, and child labor laws. It also defines employee exemption and non-exemption.
  • The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) requires employers to maintain I-9 forms to confirm that all employees are eligible to work in the U.S. legally.
  • The Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) indicates required information that must be provided to employees who participate in private health and pension plans sponsored by their employers.

In addition to these labor-related legislative compliance requirements, there is the burgeoning need to ensure data privacy and protection. In IDC’s 2022 survey of 500 HR decision makers, data privacy ranked as the most critical workforce challenge alongside attracting the right talent. High-profile data breaches have heightened organizations’ concerns about protecting all data, especially sensitive data.

The most high-profile concern on the data protection compliance front is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which spells out the rules regarding data protection and privacy in the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA).  GDPR applies to any organization that employs people in the EU.  Consequently, many organizations fall under the scope of GDPR despite not being headquartered in the EU.  Simply stated, the seven principles of GDPR include:

  1. Lawfulness, fairness, and transparency
  2. Purpose limitation
  3. Data minimization
  4. Accuracy
  5. Storage limitation
  6. Integrity and confidentiality (security)
  7. Accountability

What then do HR organizations need to do to comply with the numerous regulations and laws?  The answer lies in having a secure, integrated, and compliant enterprise solution to manage employee digital records.  This modern technology not only eliminates paper and removes any manual intervention where errors could be introduced, but also increases efficiency and minimizes risk by automating document processes.

Paper is costly in many respects including physical storage, the possibility of loss or damage, as well as the impact on the environment. Organizations are seeking to be more sustainable and moving away from paper is a step in the right direction. Document management helps organizations reach the goal of minimizing paper documents, automating document processes and mitigating compliance risk.

In fact, in recent IDC research, almost one-third of HR decision makers noted that a key benefit experienced by digitizing and transforming document processes was reduced compliance and business risk. And 45% noted increased employee satisfaction and engagement.

HR should consider a document management system that is cloud-based and supports the ability to:

  • Ensure complete and up-to-date employee files by automatically identifying when documents are missing or outdated
  • Respond to time-sensitive audits with ease by using full text search and filtered search results
  • Control and monitor document access and activity with role-based permissions and a document activity log
  • Ensure compliance with document retention requirements with the ability to define and set document retention and deletion rules for predefined periods
  • Identify automatically documents that include sensitive data
  • Use templates and automatic document generation to control use of required content within documents

In summary, document management helps with compliance obligations including achieving workflow efficiencies, establishing better collaboration, adhering to retention requirements, monitoring and managing access, enabling compliance with right of access and right to be forgotten, and providing document portability.

Message from the Sponsor

To learn more about how HR document management technology can support your corporate and regulatory compliance needs, please visit our website.

About the co-authors

Lisa Rowan is Research Vice President for IDC responsible for global research on human capital and talent management software and services. Ms. Rowan provides expert analysis focused on both the business services and software used to address HR and talent-related dimensions. Her research addresses developments in human capital and talent management applications, human resources consulting, and HR outsourcing services.

Holly Muscolino is the Group Vice President, Content Strategies and the Future of Work at  IDC, responsible for research related to innovation and transformation in content solutions, including intelligent document processing, esignature, imaging and printing and other content workflow services. Ms. Muscolino’s core coverage also includes work transformation, technology & digital skills research, and the role of technology in driving the Future of Work. 

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