As an employee, you have rights in the workplace. Hopefully you will never find yourself in a situation where you need to reassess what they are and seek professional advice but, just in case, you should be aware of what they are and how best to protect them. Your HR department is responsible for ensuring that you have a safe and comfortable experience doing your job. If there’s anything affecting that, then it might be time to speak to them. Many of us struggle with not wanting to cause a fuss but sometimes you may have cause to approach HR. Read on for some examples of times when you should definitely get in touch with the HR team.
1. You are having a disagreement with your manager
HR have a lot of different functions, but one of their chief roles it to act as a conduit between managers and employees if there is a problem. You are entitled to a HR and/or union representative if any issues arise between you and your manager within your job role. This also includes if you have been asked to do something that seems to fall outside your usual responsibilities. You aren’t being lazy or difficult if you have been given a task that would usually fall to somebody else and it has suddenly been given to you.
2. Training and development
Your team and department will have a training and development budget. You can approach HR to discuss training opportunities you might like to pursue. It might be through internal training, or job shadowing. Many companies are pleased for their employees to develop a greater degree of flexibility within their job roles. It means that absences, sickness and maternity can sometimes be covered internally without resorting to an internal hire. You can also discuss funding options for training or education opportunities outside work. If it will directly impact your job performance, then seeking this type of support is a positive step in your development and one your company should be encouraging. Even if not financial, you might find that you can get time off to attend classes or training and HR are the department to advise you on how to go about this.
3. Offensive or inappropriate behavior
We are all looking for ways to have fun and make money. Sometimes though, a job is just a nine-to-five to pay the bills. Even if that’s the case, there’s no reason you should feel unhappy or, even worse, unsafe in your job. If there has been an injury or harassment incident within your workplace, it’s worth checking to see if you need to seek legal advice from a tough personal injury attorney. Although it might not feel like HR will give you impartial advice on how to go about this, it’s within their best interests and duty to act impartially and with due diligence so, if you need legal aid, then they will let you know at what point.
Remember, your HR department is there to support you. Never feel apprehensive about approaching them and, if you’re unsure, you can always precede a face-to-face meeting with an email to check in.
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