HR policies streamline processes, set out transparent ground rules for both the company and its people, and promote effective two-way relationships. They ensure employees are treated fairly and consistently and encourage a positive working environment.
HR policies not only help businesses run more efficiently, they help to reduce commercial risks. They are not a legal requirement but they would act as key pieces of evidence should an employment decision be challenged by a claim for unfair dismissal.
A Disciplinary Policy would demonstrate your company’s integrity and compliance with employment law. It should reflect the recommendations of the Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures – a key benchmark used by tribunals to determine the fairness of a dismissal.
It’s difficult to identify a common list of HR policies to suit every business since they are all unique. A good starting point is to think of what the policy needs to achieve. An Attendance and Sick Pay Policy will help to reduce absence and determine employees’ entitlement to sick pay, for example.
Companies’ needs change continually and so too does legislation. It is important, then, that HR policies are regularly reviewed, kept up-dated and changes are communicated effectively.
This is why HR policies should not form part of employees’ contracts of employment. Otherwise, any proposed change would be a variation to terms and conditions of employment and employees would need to be consulted. More importantly, failure to follow the procedure would be a breach of contract.