A client perspective of compliance in the energy market
Jamie Waters, Senior Director at Progressive GE, the global talent development leader, covers the challenges clients face when dealing with compliance. Waters, with over 10 years energy recruitment experience, describes how Progressive GE manages customer’s expectations within the field of compliance.
Managing the challenges within the field of compliance
Waters believes that one of the main challenges facing customers is the lack of available in-house expertise. Some clients may not necessarily have an in-house legal department and therefore require external systems to gather additional information. A further challenge for some companies is the capability to produce a single and clear message that runs throughout the entire business. Once the legal and HR teams have determined their vision of exactly what they plan to do, it can be difficult to manage and agree on a singular encompassing message for the entire business. Waters believes this represents the reactionary style within the industry, particularly in oil and gas, rather than a sense of proactiveness and having the right policies in place from the beginning.
Progressive GE places a strong emphasis on training and educating its team. Waters explains that Progressive GE trains all employees, implementing an approval system to ensure messages and the necessary checks are embedded with little disruption to customers. The legal team at Progressive GE is also well positioned to offer the best support for each and every client. The General Counsel, a member of the Texas Regional Council of the American Staffing Association (ASA), receives regular updates on regulations impacting the staffing industry and ASA’s recommendations on compliance initiatives.
Progressive GE utilizes added consultative expertise from external groups, enabling the business to take recommendations from not only the General Counsel but other industry specialists. This ensures it can go to its client base with the most informed and clear advice available.
Progressive GE is in a strong position to support its clients in managing the required changes to industry practice. Waters gives an example concerning the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), specifically wage and hour issues such as overtime. In this case, the customer was not knowledgeable about compliant payment methods for contractors, which presented some problems as numerous contractors were eligible for overtime pay. Progressive GE worked with the customer to develop an hourly compensation matrix, ensuring contractors were fairly paid for the hours worked. This was achieved by providing the customer with benchmarking information on hourly market rates paid to contractors in comparable positions and regions. Progressive GE collaborated with the business to create consistent criteria that matched how the customer and client categorized exempt and nonexempt employees.
Waters explains Progressive also updated the customer’s terms and conditions, ensuring provisions had been made for hourly employees and were fit for purpose. Connecting the legal teams together ensured there was dialogue at a legal level, allowing the rest of the process to flow naturally.
Progressive GE has worked hard to differentiate its brand offering and to operate from a place where it can build trust with its clients. Offering a fully compliant service, built on the back of sound advice from both legal and external legal counsel has enabled Progressive GE to distinguish itself from other competitors.
Introducing its legal team to other legal counterparts in a client’s business ensures it can build a strong business to business relationship and create effective partnerships for the future.
Progressive GE works across the global energy markets, providing staffing solutions to the energy industry for both existing and new projects.
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