Human Resources Policies in Higher Education

The term ‘human resources’ (HR) is often used interchangeably with ‘personnel’ when referring to policies about employees in an organisation. However, the concepts of ‘HR’ and personnel rest on radically different approaches to the workforce. All employing organisations, including higher education ones, need (written or unwritten) policies that regulate the execution of the employment contract for the mutual benefit and protection of the employer and the worker. These policies typically cover things such as recruitment, salaries, equity, and misconduct/discipline. Policies frequently embody legal requirements placed on the employer for the protection of the employee. Typically, these are known as ‘personnel’ policies. They are designed to guide the execution of important, but relatively prosaic, support functions by personnel departments. Personnel policies implicitly subscribe to pluralist notions ...

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