Human resource is one of the most important facets of any business and their involvement is just as important when it comes to workers’ comp claims. Human resource is heavily involved in moderating your workers’ comp claims, relaying messages from doctors, workers, insurance agent, CEOs and managers. Here are a few of the facets they manage.
Create Policies and Procedures
Not every workplace is going to have the same policies and procedures for handling workers’ comp claims and issues. This means that your business will need to have someone who will tailor the processes specifically to the functions of the business. Your HR person is prepared and qualified to do all of this. An HR professional knows how to write the procedures and policies and will direct/enforce them for all employees.
Update and Implement
Things can change with the regulations of workers’ compensation, and your HR team is able to follow along with all of the changes that are made on the federal level. It is important that the people in your HR team have the right contacts to be notified of the changes as soon as they happen.
A good HR team will be able to implement the changes in workers’ compensation in as little as one to two days’ notice. It is a good idea for the HR team to have a procedure in place for letting everyone know exactly what they should (and for that matter, shouldn’t) be doing. They should have these procedures planned out before the changes occur so that they are prepared.
HR should have regular communication with employees so that they will be able to pass out the information to the employees as soon as updates are made. Along with updates that could come from the federal level, employers may choose to change their rules as a result of changes to their workplace policies, or as a result of a change in insurance. It is a good idea for the HR team to let all of the employees know the reasons for the changes upfront so that the employees are not guessing or asking further questions about the variations in the policies.
Follow Up With Regulations
Once changes have been made and implemented, HR will need to follow up to ensure that the policies and procedures are followed by the new rules. This means that HR should be present during workers’ comp claims so they can make sure all employees know how to file a claim if they need to. Human resources can also help the business better understand all of the aspects to an employee filing a claim, and they will be able to help them better understand the company’s role in the process.
By making sure that HR has a vast understanding of workers’ compensation, employers will be able to have a failsafe when it comes to all of their accident procedures.
It can sometimes be difficult for upper management or the owners of the business to communicate with employees during a workers’ compensation situation. Human resources can act as the mediator between the two entities to ensure that all communication is followed. They will likely be able to help the employees better understand what their role is in the process and will help them understand the process.
HR will also help employees through each step of the process. They will help them acquire the necessary documents to file the claim and assist them in having a better understanding of what they need to provide the insurance company with. The HR team works with the employee to help them understand where they need to go to be treated and the options that they have when it comes to getting better and getting back to work with minimal issues.
Human resources are also expected to help an employee become fully integrated back into the workplace after he or she has gone through a workers’ comp claim.
During a claim, employers may need to talk to lawyers and other legal counselors. This means that they need to be aware of what they are saying and not put themselves in a position where they are admitting immediate fault for the situation. HR can handle talking to legal counsel. This means human resources is the go-between for employees’ and employers’ respective legal counsel. Attorneys may contact them on behalf of the employee or the insurance company. It’s a requirement for human resources professionals to know how the verbiage and legal jargon to effectively communicate with lawyers as, worst case scenario, they may need to go to court on behalf of both parties (if the case comes down to that). HR can help the employer with all of the legal communication that accompanies any claim.
Communicate With Head of Business
The owner of the business (and other executives) may not be thrilled to hear about a workers’ compensation claim. It can cause a lot of stress and can make the employer feel like they went wrong somewhere. With a great human resources team, however, the employer can remain at ease knowing that the situation is being handled efficiently. HR should always keep the head of business informed about what is going on with the case and with the problems that come with any compensation claims. They will be able to assure the employer that things are being handled appropriately.
Having a vast understanding of all of the different aspects of workers’ comp insurance, claims, and rights is one of the human resources most fundamental jobs. In addition, though, a quality HR team should be able to keep employees safe and prevent accidents so you deal with as few claims as possible. Should a claim arise, they serve as an objective navigator, accruing all the information for all parties – keeping the process organized, clean, and fiscally sound.
HR can change the course of a claim, turning it from something could have been detrimental to all parties into a quality resolution for employers and staff.
Ramona Mathany has worked in business 25 years and continues to be an asset for companies looking to grow and bring on a PEO. Ramona lives in Willamette Valley and enjoys her kids’ sports and spending time with her family and the Lord.