Why Should We Have Those Policies and Procedures?
It seems a lot of bother but it certainly is a real investment in your business when employing staff. While an employment contract should set out the legal entitlements and obligations of the employer and the employee, the purpose of employment policies and procedures is to guide the parties in their day to day interactions. There is no confusion left to what is expected of your employees and how they should achieve that expectation.
Where an employment contract would ordinarily cover an employee’s entitlement to annual leave, the policies would ordinarily deal with the process for making a leave application.
While the needs of different organisations vary, all organisations should have policies or procedures in relation to occupational health and safety, bullying, equal opportunity and sexual harassment, and policies in relation to leave applications.
When drafting policies, it is important to avoid using “promissory” or contractual language (i.e. “Leave applications will be approved as long as they are made four weeks in advance of the date of the leave”). Recent cases have indicated that terms of policies which appear to be contractual in nature can be enforced as contractual terms. It is preferable to ensure that the employer retains discretion (i.e., “Leave applications which are made four weeks in advance of the date of the leave may be approved, subject to the requirements of the business”).
If you feel you are constantly cleaning up after somebody within your workplace, not just in the lunch room; maybe the spring clean you need to address is at the core of the business to avoid repeat issues. They can be complex documents and often require a professional to assist but when you engage your team to write some of their Procedures, they have a sense of ownership and more often adhere to the Policy. Then your business will truly sparkle.
If you need a helping hand with writing your P&P Manuals, then Half Day PA can assist you – contact me for further information.