Human Resources policies can prove crucial in ensuring the employer/employee relationship remains strong and consistent.

These policies provide the framework by which employees are expected to behave in the workplace.

They provide written guidance for employees and managers on how to handle a range of employment issues with consistency and transparency, helping to create a positive organisational culture.

Managers and employees both have roles in ensuring that HR policies are effectively implemented.

One of the purposes in having clearly communicated human resources policies and procedures is to provide consistency in the organisation. If two employees in different departments are consistently late or not meeting performance standards, having set policies for employee discipline ensures that all employees are treated the same.

Which Policies do I need?

The only policies which organisations are legally required to have are:

  • a written general Health and Safety Policy (under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 if employers with 5 or more employees)
  • a written statement of the main terms and conditions of their employment (under the Employment Rights Act 1996),
  • a procedures for dealing with both disciplinary and grievance issues.
  • an Employee Privacy Notice (ensuring GDPR compliance)

It is also really good practice however to have other policies in place, for example:

  • Sickness Absence Policy
  • Equal Opportunities Policy
  • Anti-Harassment and Bullying Policy
  • Email and Internet Policy
  • Social Media Policy
  • Maternity/Paternity and Adoption Leave and Pay
  • Time off for Dependants and other emergencies
  • Flexible Working
  • Whistleblowing
  • Drugs and Alcohol

How will they benefit the Employee?

Employees can find information on their own using the policies and procedures manual or online intranet. To ensure every employee has received a copy of the policy it is good practice to give each employee access or a hard copy of the policies and ask them to sign a statement acknowledging receipt of the procedures. An employee with questions on reporting absence, dress code or booking holidays can find answers to their own questions.

In addition, the policies will also give the employee information on who to contact with concerns about their employment.

How will they benefit the Organisation?

As employees will be able to find answers to questions themselves it will save downtime in asking various people the questions, therefore making them more productive.

In addition to this employees will feel more engaged.

How often should the policies be reviewed?

The value of HR Policies lies in their accuracy and relevance. For this reason, they should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.  This will ensure that they remain compliant with HR law and best-practice. Legislative change should be reflected as soon as practically possible within your HR Policies.

For this reason, there should be a robust and efficient update process in place, which takes place at least every 12 months, responding more rapidly in the case of changes to HR law.

All employees should receive a copy (physical or electronic) of the new document, and importantly should acknowledge that they’ve read and understand its contents in full.

Do you have relevant policies in place? When they were last reviewed?

At ALM HR and Training Consultancy, we offer a great range of HR Policy bundles, where we will closely with you when developing the policies, making them bespoke to your business, ensuring that they complement your business.

If you need any help with your HR Policies, please do not hesitate to get in touch.