Why You Shouldn’t Go to Your Accountant for HR Advice!

If you’ve ever wondered why it’s important for your business advisers to stay in their lane, professionally speaking, COVID-19 is providing an answer.

In the context of the global pandemic, we are seeing well-meaning accountants and business coaches jumping in to advise their clients – in areas where they lacked the necessary expertise.

As a result, some employers were and still are, being given advice that is incorrect.  They now face legal and HR claims including for back pay and unfair dismissal.

Not what you need when times are already so tough!

The importance of fit-for-purpose HR

At Norgay HR our area of expertise is advising clients on the specifics of the workplace, compliance with what’s allowed, and the impact on people.  We find that when we have other experts – such as Accountants – contributing their perspective in the one discussion, the result is a far more successful and sustainable outcome.

That triage of business owner, financial advisor, and HR advisor contributing in the one discussion results in better advice and outcomes, and COVID-19 is proving that time and time again for our clients.

Let me give you a recent example. A client called me to announce that after speaking with his Accountant he had come to the (painful) decision to reduce his workforce.  We got back on the phone with his Accountant and spent considerable time discussing alternatives, including JobKeeper, and came up with options that hadn’t been considered. 

We saved 5 jobs as a result of that discussion.

It’s far easier to take measured and appropriate action when you have all of the facts and all of the right expertise in the discussion. 

JobKeeper: ensuring full compliance

For employers struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic, navigating JobKeeper 1.0 and 2.0 is the tip of the iceberg.

JobKeeper 2.0 will be more discriminating. The new iteration will provide targeted support for those organisations who are suffering the most under COVID-19 restrictions.

From September 28 this year, businesses and not-for-profit groups will have to reapply if they want to go on claiming JobKeeper payments. They will be asked to reassess their eligibility by referencing their actual turnover.

The new scheme will provide ongoing support and security for businesses and not-for-profits by extending subsidies until March 28, 2021.

The pandemic has created a raft of regulations designed to protect workers’ employment rights and keep them safe in the workplace. 

Employers must:

  • Stay on top of laws regarding quarantine and isolation for workers with confirmed or suspected Coronavirus infection.
  • Know when workers are entitled to paid special leave, rather than using accrued annual or personal leave.
  • Develop a COVIDSafe plan to protect workers transitioning back to work from remote working.
  • Provide a safe, hygienic workplace which is fully compliant with government regulations.

The onslaught of new legislation surrounding COVID-19 can be overwhelming for employers – especially as regulations are constantly changing.

Ask an expert. Reach out to Norgay for the specialist HR advice you need to navigate uncertain times.

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