HR Audit Services in Europe for US Companies

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Performing a comprehensive HR audit is one of the first steps in outsourcing your Human Resources tasks to an outside company. It is also essential for US companies that are expanding to Europe.

HR audit services in Europe for US companies are important because they provide several key pieces of information:

  • A baseline of your current operations
  • Any gaps in your current HR strategies
  • Areas in which you are noncompliant with local or national laws
  • Redundancies and inefficiencies in your workflow

Audits are useful for every business, from small to large. However, they are especially important for US companies that are in the process of expanding to include European operations.

Europe HR Solutions provides a comprehensive HR audit to help your US company launch in Europe

We provide an HR audit that will help you prepare for your expansion from the US into Europe.

Our audits are performed by experienced, highly trained human resources professionals who work with US and British companies that are expanding into mainland Europe. The potential for costly mistakes when running an international operation is high; a strong HR audit can help you strategize for your expansion.

The human resources profession has developed a thorough, detailed process for conducting HR audits. This process takes time in all three stages: the planning stage, the audit stage, and the analysis stage.

This next section provides a simple overview of the most common steps in the process. Note that each of the three stages includes several steps.

Stage 1: Planning the audit

You can’t conduct a strong audit without a strong planning stage.

At this point in the process, your goal is to determine what you need your audit to cover, who is going to conduct the audit, and what data you need to prepare before the audit takes place.

Choose your audit team

Technically, you can conduct an audit on your own. We don’t recommend it because we have seen what happens when an insufficient audit is completed by someone who doesn’t have enough experience in HR – especially European HR. It gets messy, complicated, and expensive to fix.

Even if you make the smart decision to outsource your audit, you still need people in your organization to serve as part of the audit team.

Consider including:

  • Someone from your HR department
  • In-house legal representative
  • Subject matter experts for your industry
  • Someone from the Mergers & Acquisitions team (if you have one)
  • An executive team member with extensive knowledge of the company
A person’s hand moving a chess piece on a board

Determine the scope of your audit

There are many kinds of audits, and your process may include one or more of them. They include:

  • Corporate structure audit
  • Overall compliance assessment
  • Preparation for corporate restructuring
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Payroll compliance
  • Health and safety policies
  • General payroll audit (wages and salaries)
  • Worker data privacy audit
  • Corporate social responsibility/ethics audit
  • Supplier compliance
  • Labor practices audit
  • Employment law compliance
  • Industry-specific issues
  • Immigration compliance issues
  • Compliance with all registration forms
  • Liability audit

Create checklists–lots of checklists

Even though there are some business operations that are very similar in both the US and Europe, there are many, many differences that will affect your day-to-day operations. Checklists are going to help you determine just how many of those US-to-Europe changes you need to be aware of.

After determining the scope of your audit, you will need a checklist of all the rules related to each aspect of the checklist.

You might find some generic checklists online, but we recommend creating an entirely new document that is specific to your company’s expansion into Europe.

One great strategy is to create a master checklist that can be divided into multiple sub-level checklists. That way, you can provide checklists to the relevant people in your company without weighing them down with the master checklist.

Your checklist will likely include the following:

  • Corporate tax laws
  • Insurance rules
  • Payroll laws & payroll deductions
  • Mandatory vacation time and PTO (PTO is usually referred to as “leave entitlement” in Europe)
  • Contract overviews
  • Local employment laws
  • Benefits and compensation offerings
  • Incentive plans for employees
  • Tuition benefits
  • Collective labor laws and collective bargaining agreements
  • Laws related to recruiting, interviewing, onboarding, overtime, etc
  • Discrimination, harassment, and diversity rules
  • Procedures in the event of accusation of discrimination against any protected identity groups
  • Laws related to required local languages
  • HR policies for internal employment complaints
  • Procedures for internal investigations
  • Whistleblower protections
  • Management of labor disputes
  • Works agreements with the European Works Council 
  • Reduction-in-force policies
  • Laws governing headquarters locations
  • Pension and retirement laws
  • Mandatory cost of living/inflation-adjusted raises
  • Severance pay policies
  • Succession planning
  • Employee handbook rules
  • Local laws regarding information posted in the workplace
  • Global crisis/pandemic plans
  • Security protocols
  • Ethics guidelines for employees
  • Contract language compliance
  • Adherence to data privacy laws for employee data
  • Policies for notifying employees of a data breach
  • Contractor laws
  • Immigration policies
  • Expatriate compliance
  • Duty of care protections for business travel, personal injuries, etc.
  • Compliance with overseas supply chain labor monitoring
  • Adherence to the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 (if your expansion includes a UK presence)

This is not a comprehensive list, but it does give you a good starting point of many of the things you need to consider for your HR audit.

For each of these issues, create a smaller checklist that includes things like conducting research to find all relevant European and country-specific laws, appointing a team member to oversee the area, and determining what metrics will be used to measure success.

HR Audit Services in Europe

Stage 2: Conduct the audit

Stage 1 is pretty intense, but Stage 2 is where the work gets really granular and labor-intensive. 

If you work with an auditor like Europe HR Solutions, we will already have all of the latest information about European laws, including EU regulations and country-specific laws–and how those are different from the US. 

What we will need from you is access to your existing policies and company data. 

Conducting this audit independently comes with a number of risks. 

First, you may miss something small but important. Small mistakes can put you out of compliance with European authorities, which in turn jeopardizes your expansion into Europe. 

Second, non-compliance is expensive. Data protection non-compliance on its own was a source of major fines for companies operating in Europe. At the top of the list of the biggest fines was Meta, which was fined €405 million for data privacy violations in Ireland. Many other companies saw fines that were in the €10-20 million range. 

Third, and finally, an ill-prepared audit may make you unprepared to keep up with your European competitors. Even if you don’t get caught by the European authorities for your mistakes, there will be people who notice. You will lose out on prospective employees, contracts, and more because you are not doing what is expected of European employers. 

Stage 3: Analyze the audit

Completing the audit without analyzing the results is like cooking yourself a delicious meal – but not eating it.

You have worked so hard to gather the required information, collect data, research policies, and answer complicated questions. Now you have to do something with the information that you have gathered. 

The analysis stage is all about identifying what is working well and what needs to change so that you can develop a series of action plans. 

Consider these questions as you analyze your HR audit: 

  1. What are we doing well, and how can we make sure that we continue to perform well in these areas?
  2. Which policies are completely absent and therefore need to be created from scratch?
  3. Which policies need to be revised in order to be compliant with European and country-specific laws?
  4. What is our time frame for completing these revisions?
  5. Who is our point person for each policy change?

Trust Europe HR Solutions to Conduct an Outstanding HR Audit

At Europe HR Solutions, we perform thorough and detailed HR audit services in Europe for HR companies for our clients who are expanding into Europe. 

Navigating the labor law landscape in Europe isn’t easy, and you don’t have to try to do it on your own. 

When you trust our experienced, knowledgeable human resources professionals to perform this audit, you get the benefit of working with a team that already knows the ins and outs of European labor law – including the laws in each country where you might be expanding your operations. 

Our auditors give you the chance to focus on growing your business instead of feeling stressed and overwhelmed about the complex compliance issues of operating in Europe. 

Contact us for a free consultation!

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    Our Client Testimonials

    We are proud to have worked with numerous UK- and US-based businesses as they have started their operations in Europe, including startups, acquisitions, and expansions.

    Here is what some of them have to say:

    John Hardin
    Europe HR Solutions are exceptional Human Resources professionals and fully understand the nuance and complexity of creating employment contracts in ...
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    John Hardin
    Europe HR Solutions are exceptional Human Resources professionals and fully understand the nuance and complexity of creating employment contracts in the various EU geographies. They also have a keen eye for talent, particularly for startups, and have been extremely helpful in identifying quality hires. I highly recommend them for HR consultation to any executive building an organization in Europe.
    Melanie Girardin
    Europe HR Solutons is my go to organization for anything related to employment matters in the Dutch market. They are ...
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    Melanie Girardin
    Europe HR Solutons is my go to organization for anything related to employment matters in the Dutch market. They are one of the most talented and efficient HR professionals I've ever met. This is a great pleasure to work with them. They are creative problem solvers, and trustworthy Advisors. Their recommendations are well thought out and clearly articulated. I give them my highest recommendation, without reservation.
    Christina Lambourne
    Europe HR Solutions have been vital to the HR journey of our business. To begin with we had two...
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    Christina Lambourne
    Europe HR Solutions have been vital to the HR journey of our business. To begin with we had two small acquired businesses and one newly founded company which all needed some structure and a lot of knowledge as a good foundation. Inez’ team in UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands have been hugely supportive and were fundamental to put in place the solid policies and the processes we now have in place. Their highly professional approach in combination with true empathy and flexibility was a breath of fresh air. We had a true partnership for over 18 months now and know we can rely on the team in day to day as well as critical and more challenging situations. Europe HR Solutions have supported us with recruitment, general HR advisory, policies, TUPE, Coaching, redundancies, and everything in between. As the CFO for the business, I’m eternally grateful for all the very practical and human support I have received to date and look forward to continuing this relationship.
    Elke Taylor
    Europe HR Solutions delivered employee handbooks for multiple countries in English and also local language. They provided local expertise for ...
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    Elke Taylor
    Europe HR Solutions delivered employee handbooks for multiple countries in English and also local language. They provided local expertise for those countries and were able to answer the multiple questions from the business and employees. Their responsiveness, quality of expertise & knowledge, output on deliverables was excellent therefore I have already worked with them on further projects and hope to do so in the future again.
    Ann Beckers
    Since a few months, Inez coaches me in creating my own vision, my purpose and my goals, as well in ...
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    Ann Beckers
    Since a few months, Inez coaches me in creating my own vision, my purpose and my goals, as well in my professional, as in my personal life. As a result, I feel much more confident, focused and relaxed. I have learned to know Inez as a very special person. She is one of those rare people who have the extraordinary gift of being a good listener. Do not expect abstract discussions about your career or your future. You can expect immediate results of a dedicated professional coach, who will support you to focus on the challenges and the goals that are really important to you.
    Juanita Hendrickson
    Europe HR Solutions has an excellent team of experts and/or front-line resources who have deep expertise across Europe. We ...
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    Juanita Hendrickson
    Europe HR Solutions has an excellent team of experts and/or front-line resources who have deep expertise across Europe. We successfully utilized many of the resources on this team to help us sort through a number of complex issues in The Netherlands, Germany, UK, Belgium, etc. Inez and her team are agile, speedy, and pragmatic in their HR approach and quickly became trusted advisors and partners with our Epredia HR team and managers.
    Juanita Hendrickson
    Juanita Hendrickson
    Maham Zafar
    Our experience with Europe HR Solutions has been nothing short of exceptional. As an international company, ensuring HR compliance across ...
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    Maham Zafar
    Our experience with Europe HR Solutions has been nothing short of exceptional. As an international company, ensuring HR compliance across various regions is a complex challenge, and Europe HR Solutions has proven to be an invaluable partner in navigating this intricate landscape.From the outset, their team demonstrated a deep understanding of the complexities associated with international HR regulations. Their expertise in local labor laws and regulations has not only ensured our company's compliance but has also provided us with peace of mind knowing that we are in safe hands.
    Maham Zafar
    Maham Zafar
    Paul Grafham
    Europe HR Solutions has consistently delivered high quality work in all of the projects that she has been involved in. ...
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    Paul Grafham
    Europe HR Solutions has consistently delivered high quality work in all of the projects that she has been involved in. The professional approach that they display is combined with a very personable manner, which has helped integrate them into the AngioDynamics team, and their expertise has assisted significantly in the growth of the international business. I would not hesitate to recommend Europe HR Solutions and the consultancy services offered, and believe they would be an asset to any organisation.
    Christos Kartalis
    Europe HR Solutions was main HR/Legal lead for a major restructuring in Europe in 2006. Amazing cross/dept/areas knowledge, ...
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    Christos Kartalis
    Europe HR Solutions was main HR/Legal lead for a major restructuring in Europe in 2006. Amazing cross/dept/areas knowledge, keenly results oriented, jelled with the team with decisive (especially for a "consultant") and highly accountable attitude. Europe HR Solutions are a amazing professionals, making things "easier" for management. I would work with them at any given next opportunity and would recommend them with out any reservations. Christos Kartalis. CEO, Int'l CIPLA.
    Ignasi Vivas
    I had the pleasure of working with Inez at different levels at American Medical Systems. Inez was able to provide ...
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    Ignasi Vivas
    I had the pleasure of working with Inez at different levels at American Medical Systems. Inez was able to provide us a Strategic view of what Human Resources can provide to an organization by being a true partner. With her as a leader, we were able to build processes as well as development plans, that helped us to move from a small to a mid size company. She guided us to always focuse on people, which lead us to become a stronger and bigger organization.
    Check out our testimonials page to hear from more of our happy and satisfied clients! 

    Why choose Europe HR Solutions?

    Speed
    Our HR services professionals can start immediately and send answers to your needs within 24 hours or less.

    Immediately Operational & High Quality
    Our human resources consultants in Europe have many years of expertise. Our team will be able to help you immediately with your questions and projects.

    Flexibility
    We are HR experts who serve on an ad hoc basis, interim basis, project and retainer basis from a few weeks, months up to several years.

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