Compliance risks come in a handful of different shapes and sizes. As a result, it’s difficult to prepare your company for every compliance risk that can pop up. Hopefully, you can put processes in place to help you avoid unpleasant dilemmas when it comes to independent contractor compliance.
It’s always good to test how thorough your process is and to rehash depending on the most current risks in your space. Here are some ways to make sure your independent contractor compliance is up to par.
Preventing Independent Contractor Compliance Risks With a Uniform Process:
How are you currently onboarding your independent contractors? You will need to thoroughly understand your current process if you want to assess your compliance risk. Here are some best practices to ensure a uniform process for onboarding new contractors:
- Do you have a written plan for onboarding? A written plan ensures that the process is the same for every contractor.
- Does the onboarding plan include providing clear goals and feedback for the work?
- Does your written onboarding process include plans for milestones at 30, 60, 90 days? A uniform onboarding process requires a plan for onboarding beyond the initial stages of work.
Follow the Rules
State and Federal requirements are always changing. Even if the law doesn’t change, application and enforcement criteria may. How do you keep up with changes? Here’s what Susan Heathfield suggests:
- Find a good employment law attorney who understands the industry and your company culture to keep you updated regarding legislative changes.
- Subscribe to email updates from state and federal departments of labor.
- Subscribe to updates from a human resources association like the Society for Human Resources Management.
Follow a Plan
IC Diagnostics has defined a step-by-step plan to assess an onboarding process to see whether a group of workers would pass the test for independent contractors:
- Assessment, Measurement, Alternatives: A comprehensive look at the onboarding process that includes an assessment of current classifications with suggestions for better compliance.
- Restructuring and Re-documentation: Once you identify areas of improvement, you implement them and then fully document the new structure to ensure a uniform process.
- Re-implementation: Ensure that the newly documented structure is consistently implemented.
Compliance Basics You Need to Cover
- Quality: Consistent quality is difficult to control across large workforces and rail networks. A process to ensure consistent quality will protect people, and it will make you less likely to face a lawsuit.
- Social Responsibility: You don’t want to put the health and well-being of the communities in which you work at risk. Compliance includes the procedures for protecting everyone affected by your network.
- Workplace Health and Safety: It is not just a moral necessity to create a safe work environment for your contractors. Safety also contributes to happier and more effective workers, improving your bottom line.
- The Environment: Environmental concerns can be tricky. When you start a new project, make sure you have a detailed plan for the environmental impact that has been approved by the appropriate people. You don’t want a major project derailed by a rare species of snail!
- Corruption: Fraud and bribery are major problems in every industry, including rail. Anyone participating in these activities creates an unacceptable threat to your compliance. Your compliance program should include checks against these threats.
Stick to Your Process
There should be no compromise in your process to execute projects efficiently and safely, but no one sets out to underwhelm. Help yourself by using a workforce management solution to keep track of every detail in the process. It will help you account for all your decisions and results, preventing difficult conversations about accounting or reporting.
It is a unique challenge to manage dynamic workplaces with many independent contractors and many moving parts. Compliance risks abound. With intelligent planning and modern management tools, you can identify and prevent compliances problems before they become a problem.
If you have questions about preparing your next project to be safely compliant please do not hesitate to reach out. We’d love to help.
*This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice.