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A remuneration specialist oversees the compensation of employees for a company or organization. Compensatory practices generally fall under the human resources department of a company, and are almost universally considered an critical incentive for an engaged, productive workforce. There are numerous laws that govern fair and timely payment to workers for their labor. A remuneration specialist is generally expected to be knowledgeable about these regulations. Compensation of employees involves more than just monetary payment, and often includes non-wage benefits, such as health insurance, or an annual vacation.
Remuneration of employees is one of the key factors in ensuring a productive, dependable workforce. Paying more than the market rate for a worker is usually viewed as a loss to a company, but conversely, paying less than going rate is not always the bargain it may appear to be on the surface. Workers are usually keenly aware of what their fair market value is to an employer.
When a worker perceives that he or she is underpaid, the resulting low morale may cause a variety of problems, such as decreased productivity, lowered concern for quality in job performance, and a diminished sense of task ownership. The remuneration specialist seeks to avoid these problems by accurately determining what the fair rate of compensation for a particular job description should be. He or she will usually be aware of the customary pay rate for a particular job description.
Those staff members responsible for a company's remuneration will generally be required to compensate workers according to applicable laws, and to ensure payment owed to workers is rendered in a timely manner. For example, in many countries, workers are expected to receive a higher rate of pay for hours worked in excess of what is considered a normal work load. This is often referred to as overtime. As these laws may change over time, the remuneration specialist will be expected to stay current with the latest requirements.
In addition to monetary compensation, it is common in industrialized nations for companies to compensate employees with health care benefits, vacation, or paid sick leave. Other benefits may include a sabbatical, or an extended leave to care for a sick family member. In some cases, non-monetary compensation may be a sizable part of the overall remuneration. Although the term "remuneration specialist" is commonly used in English-speaking countries, in the U.S. the same job is often referred to as a "compensation specialist."