- It’s important to explain to employees whether they are employees who have been with you for a while, or are a new employee, what the rules of your business are. Alternatively, you can think of your Employee Policies and Procedures as “the way we do things around here.”
There are many benefits to having suitable employment policies in place. Setting standards is the key to healthy workplace relations. It can reduce the need for disciplinary and legal action. It may also increase productivity and morale, as well as help employee retention. Clear policymaking can also be positive for your business’ reputation externally, e.g. among clients and the local community. It can also help in attracting new staff.
If a policy is well developed and clearly written, it helps communication with employees, clarifies expectations and makes sure that everyone is treated in a consistent and fair way.
The Policies and Procedures that you decide to put into place, will also set the tone for your business and will help you to create the working culture of your business, so it is really important to spend the time on getting them right.
- There are certain legal requirements that must be met from a Policies and Procedures perspective. It is a legal requirement to set out your health and safety policy in writing if you have five or more employees. It is also a legal requirement to set out your disciplinary rules and discipline and grievance procedures in writing regardless of the no of employees’ that you have.
- The other policies that you have to have in place but not legally in writing are as stated below. However, I would suggest that it is best practice to also have these key policies set out in writing to avoid any confusion and to offer employees’ complete transparency.
- Bullying and harassment.
- Data Protection.
- Equality and diversity.
- Flexible Working.
- Maternity / paternity / adoption and all family friendly policies
- Pay, how and when you pay.
- Sickness Absence Policy
- Social Media and Internet Policy
- Smoking, drugs and alcohol.
- Whistleblowing / protected disclosure.
- Working time and time off.
- The other policies that you have will be determined by the nature of your business. For example, if your staff operate machinery, it may be a good idea to implement a specific policy on drugs and alcohol use. If most of your staff use computers and the internet for their work, you should have an email and internet usage policy as well as a Social Media Policy. It is advisable to discuss what policies and procedure you should put into place with an HR or legal professional.
- It is important to determine where you will keep these rules and procedures for employees to access, as well as determining who and how often they will be checked and updated.
Many people have a Company intranet, and like to keep their policies and procedures on the intranet site and can refer employees to the intranet site if they need them to. There is a danger with this approach, as people may not read them and can then use the argument that they “weren’t aware of a policy” if they haven’t seen it.
For this reason, the majority of employers prefer to issue employees with an Employee Handbook at the same time as issuing them with their Contract of Employment which contains all of the policies and procedures. You can also ask employees to sign a statement to say that they have read, understood and accept the terms of these policies and procedures.
Emma C Browning Ltd provides professional, commercial and practical HR solutions. If you want or need to develop your employee policies and procedures, it’s important that you get some advice as your policies and procedures not only state the rules and expectations of your business, they will also help you to create the culture of your business, and reduce the need for disciplinary and legal action. The right policies and procedures may also increase productivity and morale, as well as help employee retention, so it’s important that you don’t get this important task wrong!
To find out how I can help you, please contact me on 01280-848415/07766-741738 or via my website; www.emmacbrowning.com