By Charles Power
[Ed Note: Never underestimate the importance of a good workplace policy.
They present a number of benefits to you and your employees, including:
- informing employees about what is expected of them (in terms of both performance and behaviour);
- providing a means of communicating important information to new employees;
- providing decision-making guidelines so that employees do not have to continually refer to senior managers;
- demonstrating that employees will be treated equally and fairly;
- providing a complaints-handling process, which helps to avoid claims of bias; and
- protecting you from legal risk by helping you to defend claims that you have breached employment legislation, e.g. in relation to discrimination, bullying, health and safety, unfair dismissal, privacy and online behaviour.
Failing to develop and implement workplace policies that are comprehensive and relevant will deny your business of these benefits. That’s why, in today’s bulletin, Charles Power gives you 10 questions you should ask yourself to ensure your develop effective workplace policies.
Until next time…]
10 questions to ask yourself to create a comprehensive workplace policy
When developing or reviewing a workplace policy, ask yourself the following questions to ensure that your policy includes everything it needs to:
- What is the policy’s purpose?
- What is the scope of the policy, i.e. what activities does it cover and who does it apply to?
- Are there any related policies or procedures that exist or are being developed? (If so, reference them.)
- What behaviour is acceptable under the policy? What examples and definitions can you include?
- What behaviour is unacceptable under the policy?
- Is any behaviour relating to the policy against the law? (If so, reference the related legislation and make it clear that legal action could be taken against any employee who engages in that behaviour. Don’t forget to mention any employee behaviour that you, as the employer, could be vicariously liable for.)
- What disciplinary action or performance management procedures will an employee face if they breach the policy?
- Who should employees contact with enquiries or complaints relating to the policy?
- Who has authorised the development of the policy?
- Are there any circumstances in which it will not be possible to follow the policy – if so, how will you respond?
Employment Law Practical Handbook