Essential HR documents to consider implementing within your network

By Jenna Paulin | 05 Aug 2021 View comments

Often franchisors question why HR documentation should be their responsibility for the network. Just like creating an operations manual on how to run the business, having tailored documents for your brand available in a central location adds great benefit to the network.

We aren’t saying you need to provide everything, but the essentials documents will ensure that your network is managing the HR function with at least the minimal infrastructure that you have provided. This works towards reducing risk across and complying with obligations under the Fair Work Act. 

We have outlined the key documents that we recommend all franchise networks invest in – at a minimum. 

HR operations manual 

Just like the operations manual that all franchises are required to have, an HR operations manual provides the essential elements that cover the employment lifecycle, so your franchisees have a base line to reference when it comes to employment obligations. Think of it as the HR Bible when it comes to managing people. 

When a franchisee joins your network they are generally not familiar with HR items as a small business owner. This manual provides education and guidance for them to follow set processes established by the franchisor. It covers best practice and compliance obligations. It is an education source and provides step by step guides and understandings of different aspect under the HR umbrella.

Employment contracts

Employment contracts are a must for any employer, and it is no different for franchisors. 

Creating personalised employment contract templates for your network to access is highly recommended. Employment law is forever changing. Have a process in place whereby as a franchisor you have peace of mind and security knowing the legal component in relation to employees, the contract, is covered and continually reviewed and updated in line with legislation.

Providing templated contract will not only create a unified approach and ensure compliance is met, but it will also ensure the consistency is kept at all times across the network. 

Employment Contracts must be provided to all new employees and to those changing roles or being promoted.  

Employee handbook 

An employee handbook is a document that provides an overview of the franchisor’s expectations, policies, procedures, standards and boundaries in relation to their employment. It covers legislative matters and best practice implemented by the franchisor. The content covers items that are relevant to all employees. 

It is essentially the do’s and the don’ts that an employee needs to aware of, to ensure that they are undertaking their employment effectively and sticking to the rules. 

An employee handbook is provided to each employee at the start of their employment, and it is recommended that they acknowledge receipt of this document and agree to abide by what it outlined within. It is a document that should be always accessible and relevant to everyone within the business.  

It is recommended a franchisor establishes an employee handbook and all franchisees and their employees follow the expectations set out in the handbook. 

Position descriptions

A position description is a document that outlines a positions purpose, responsibilities and duties. Each position in the business should have a position description and it should be provided at the same time an employment contract as a separate document. This will allow flexibility for changes in positions from time to time without having to rewrite and resign a new employment contract; unless the role is completely different, and a new contract is warranted. 

Position descriptions are used to assist with management of an employee, career progression and supports the business structure knowing what position is doing what.  

‘How to recruit’ training module 

Having a presentation that acts like a training module for when you are onboarding new franchisees will provide them with the confidence, knowledge and guidance on how to recruit the right candidate for the franchise brand. 

We find franchisees generally have not had any experience in hiring and or managing people before, therefore the more tools and resources provided at the start of their franchise journey will only benefit them long term. 

This provides them with tried and tested practical tips and recommendations that the franchisor knows works well for the brand.  

New franchisee, HR induction

An induction to any business is crucial for success. Inducting your franchisees with HR knowledge is just as important as inducting them into the operations of the business they are buying into. 

Developing an induction for franchisees on how to manage their HR and the resources available in the network is critical for the franchisees to understand their obligations from a practical manner. Having manuals and documents in place is fantastic but without educating the franchisees from the start about the tools and resources is not effective.