The Importance of Compliance for a Small Business

Running a business is one thing but being compliant as a small business is something completely different. Why is compliance so important for small business? Do you as a small business owner really need to have complex and expensive systems and policies in place just to report on the handful or staff you have? Surely only large corporations need to follow such complex and often confusing rules. I mean, “how can the government expect me as a small business owner to have what they have?”

Protecting your most important asset

Well, every business started somewhere, some of us we came from a corporate background and we have gained some insight into HR practices and know more than others what is really required to successfully run a corporation and at the same time manage our most important resource: The Human Resources, the people in our business. Believe me, it is not tools, processes, products or systems that make a company, it’s the people. People, from the cleaner to the CEO are your most important asset. Without them, the company is simply an empty shell.

Your most important resource needs to be happy; your people need to feel that they are looked after and treated fairly. An unhappy workforce is a disaster waiting to happen.

It is important that you look after your people. As an employer, you need to make sure that everything you do is fair, and consistent. You cannot treat one person differently from another or give someone unequal rights. Discrimination is a harsh word but it is an important consideration as a small business

The Simple Steps for Compliance

Compliance with HR legislation and rules is not difficult, with HR Simplified it s very easy, and there are some basic steps that can be taken to ensure you can meet any requirements

  1. Start with a clear HR Policy. An HR Policy does not have to be complicated and full of legal terms that no one can understand. Your policy should be easy to read and clear enough to ensure you and everyone that reads it understands what the basic rules are. Nothing should be unclear and where there may be questions make yourself available to answer them. You should update your HR Policy as it goes along and as you learn more about the issues your business faces, letting everyone know it’s been updated. If you still don’t know where to start, here is a list of free HR Policies you can download.
  2. Get your employment contracts drawn up correctly. Remember if both parties in a contract are unsure about what is expected of them, one of the parties will be disappointed at some stage. It makes sense, therefore, to have your employment contracts drafted correctly. There are many online providers where one can get a Standard employment contract for free, or at a very low price. You can use the same contract repeatedly with only small changes and thus paying for a contract initially is a good investment. You can download an Employee Contract Template here if you need one.
  3. Leave management is often one of the greatest challenges facing small business with regards to HR Management. Facing questions about why one employee receives more leave than another can become awkward and some staff members may feel discriminated. Correctly managing leave is important and trying to control it in an excel spreadsheet may seem ok but it soon gets out of hand and awkward questions will begin to rise to the surface. HRSimplified makes leave management extremely easy with Leave workflows that allow leave submission, approval, reversals and leave reports. HRSimplified saves a lot of time, does not require HR qualifications and avoids the questions you cannot answer.
  4. HR recordkeeping can become a nightmare. Many small businesses end up with files upon files of disorganized printed documents, certifications, driver licenses, personal identification, HR notes and more that have been stored over the years. It is good that the documentation has been kept but when a request from a staff member, or even worse a labor dispute arises finding the information you need can be close to impossible. You need to find the relevant documents fast and prove they are authentic. In a paper-based filing system finding the relevant documents is a thankless task and if the person responsible for the filing is not available anyone else will stand no chance at all of finding what is needed:
    • What file do I need to look in?
    • Did I remember to file it?
    • Where was it filed?

    Making sure all your documents are stored correctly, in accordance with labor regulations and, in an easy to access and retrieve manner is essential. Keeping HR notes on your staff, on things they do, things they don’t do, updates to their next of kin, and their records are equally important. You are going to need it one day and a paper filing system just won’t cut it. For this reason, HRSimplified steps in – the cost of your time spent hunting for a document is far greater than the cost of HRSimplified.

  5. Understanding the Labor law in South Africa as a small business is essential and you need to comply. The Basic Conditions of Employment act is relatively straight forward: The new act commenced on 2 January 2019.
  6. Get professional guidance, it can seem expensive to hire a consultant to make sure you have the right answers, but the initial cost for the correct advice is far less than going to court and paying out for legal representation. With the Partners HRSimplified have signed up we can assist you with an HR specialist to assist you. Send us your question or comments.


Complying with South African HR rules and regulations need not be a time-consuming headache for a small business. Making use of an easy and affordable HR Management System such as HRSimplified will save you time, money and effort. At HRSimplified we have developed the easiest to use HR Management system that is perfect for Small to Medium sized companies. HRSimplfied will get you on the road to HR Compliance quickly and before long you will have better control over considerably happier staff for a lot less money than you think. Investing in HRSimplified is something you will never regret, put us to the test at no cost and we know you will be impressed.

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