The importance of having policies and procedures
When you're running a small organisation, you might believe that writing your office's human resources rules and procedures isn't that important. However, failing to have unambiguous instructions will almost certainly result in misconceptions. Don't wait for problems to emerge before putting your policies in place. Establish clear ground rules for your employees, safeguard your employer's rights, and keep your team on track.
Let’s have a closer look at some of the important policies to have in your company.
💡Employers should note that workplace policies should be explained thoroughly in the employment contract or guide.
Code of conduct
The company's expectations of its employees in terms of behaviour are outlined in the code of conduct, which defines what is acceptable and what is not, as well as maintaining the workplace safe and comfortable for everybody. It usually deals with situations like:
- The dress code
- Use of social media
- Use of alcohol and other drugs
- Bullying and harassment
Performance and discipline
Keep track of all positive and bad performance and disciplinary occurrences. Annual performance reviews, awards, promotions, and disciplinary action, such as written and spoken warnings and performance improvement plans, are all examples of this.
Health and safety
Employees are required to report work-related injuries immediately, according to safety standards, which detail safety and emergency protocols. Furthermore, if certain workplace dangers exist, federal requirements under the Occupational Safety and Health Act require organisations to have specific plans and programmes in place. such as a hazard communication programme if certain chemicals are present in the workplace.
Social media policy
A social media policy can help protect your company's online and offline reputation. Despite its newness, you should construct this policy so that it can survive scrutiny from your regional labour relations board.
Your social media policy should also specify the kind of confidential information that should never be disclosed on social media and the consequences of violating the policy.
Holidays or annual leave policy
A holiday or annual leave policy sets out employees entitlement to annual leave and the rules and requirements of the company in regards to annual leave. This policy should specify how many days per year of holidays the employee is entitled to and if bank holidays or public holidays are included. Set out a holiday or annual leave policy according to the government's statutory leave entitlement.
💡Find out more about Holiday management on our website.
Sick leave policy
Additionally, employers should consider a separate policy regarding sick leave. A sick leave policy should specify how and what time employees need to call in to let employers know they are sick and if they are entitled to sick pay. A doctor's note may also be required. As an employer, make sure to look into statutory sick leave entitlements according to the government's website.
Suppose your company requires the use or giving out equipment; in that case, it is essential to have an equipment policy to assure the protection of the company and its property and avoid any extra charges. Work equipment can include devices, machinery, installations etc. This policy should specify the use, safety, maintenance and replacement costs (if applicable) of the work equipment provided.
💡Include an equipment replacement policy plan so that you and your employees know when a replacement is needed or should be considered.
Under the Equality Act 2010, employers are legally required to protect their employees' rights and prevent any discrimination against them. Therefore, an anti-discrimination policy is an important policy to have for your business. It will help ensure that you and your employees work in an environment free of discrimination, harassment, and unfair treatment. It will promote an equal, healthy and fair working environment. This policy should set out the procedures of how employees will be protected from any discrimination and emphasise the employer's commitment to creating a safe and happy environment for their employees.
💡Educate Yourself and Raise Awareness
BYOD + data security
Bring your own device (BYOD) allows your employees to use their own devices for work and have access to the company's systems, software and information. A BYOD policy can set these points: what devices are allowed to be used, ownership of stored data in the device, apps that are permitted or not, security requirements (i.e. special passwords) etc. These points don't have to be strictly mentioned, and they can be either just a few of them or include alternative or additional points.
Data security policy
If employees decide to use their own device for work, a data security policy should be added to ensure that they are aware of how any data (personal, customer, company) related to their work is being handled.
Accidents at work
It is the employer's responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees; however, if an accident should occur, it should be dealt with according to their accident at work policy. This policy usually is set out to report and investigate the incident, identify the cause and severity of the accident, and the consequences.
💡Always ensure that employees are aware of the health and safety regulations.
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