Working in HR during COVID-19…. the good, the bad and the ongoing legislation changes!

Working in HR is diverse and each day is different, throw Coronavirus into the mix and the role of HR is even more challenging!

The variety in HR is vast and I have found this variety has only increased during this pandemic. From keeping up to date with legislation changes, Leadership support to Wellbeing support, my role has ensured employers have the balanced and fair view when needing to make the tough decisions. Below are the 3 key HR areas of support vital during this time:

Legislation Changes

From Job Seeker to Job Keeper, the Fair Work legislation changes have been continual and ever changing.  The month began with keeping up to date with the government announcements, News Reports and Industry expert advice in relation to what legislation changes may look like. We then moved into the legislation being passed and still so many questions of implementation unanswered. The varied legislation interpretation has been difficult to navigate, especially when employers need these answers yesterday not in 1o days’ time! As we now have come to the other side of the updated Fair Work legislation, we see more flexibility in the workplace and a greater emphasis in “proper” consultation. This consultation process is key to helping all parties genuinely consider the proposed changes a workplace and continue a culture of trust and respect.

Leadership Support

Supporting a leader is always a rewarding part of my role. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this support has been key to assisting leaders in demonstrating the leadership qualities employees want to see. Over the past few weeks my conversations with leaders have been emotional and raw. Many leaders having to make really tough decisions to ultimately save a business from folding. Communication has been a key theme in these conversations. Intentional Communication to help reduce panic and keep morale up, regular communication to keep gossip and rumors at bay and honest and open communication from decision makers to assist with the validity of the decisions made.

Wellbeing Support

This pandemic is surely testing our wellbeing, resilience and strength. Many Leaders have reached out to seek advice in relation to supporting their teams during this unknown time. From practical tips in relation to self-care to emergency crisis care and referral for employees, all of these conversations are critical for the ongoing working relationship of a leader and an employee. Many employees will remember how their leader supported them during this crisis and how they listened and offered them practical advice to care for themselves.

Other advice during this time has been for leaders themselves to also ensure self-care during this time. Many leaders reminding themselves to seek support, practice self-care and be vulnerable and open with employees.

See our blog for these practical tips:

Tips to help you manage the impacts of the coronavirus on your workplace

For the past 6 weeks my career in HR has been rewarding, frustrating, challenging and everything in between! COVID-19 has impacted us all in some way, for me both professionally and personally it is having a significant impact to my everyday work and home life.

I will continue to advocate for the role of HR and the key benefits a HR Consultant brings to a business. HR advice and support will ensure all decisions are fair, transparent and genuine which only develops and builds great workplaces.

Emma Baldwin is a seasoned human resource business partner, who strives to build trust and respect in every workplace. As a generalist, Emma’s experience spans the full range of human resources including: compliance, mediation, investigation, conflict resolution, employee training and recruitment. Outside of work, Emma enjoys exploring the great outdoors, health and fitness, theatre productions and spending time with her young family.


Disclaimer: The material contained in this publication is of a general nature only. It is not, nor is intended to be, legal advice. If you wish to act based on the content of this publication, we recommend that you seek professional advice.

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