HR policies are formed to protect both the company and the employees. Human resource policies are essential for every organisation. It’s not just a set of expectations that a company has from their employees but a guide that provides a path for various processes and functions in the company.
The HR policies in the company provide clarity to the employees and the management. A specific policy for concerning issues keeps away confusion. A company can have a policy for some crucial aspects of the business.
Why do We Need HR Policies?
Organisations need HR policies to safeguard the interest of companies and employees. The human resource policies ensure that the company’s goals and objectives and achieved. The also policies help to establish ideal conduct and respectful behaviour for everyone.
HR policies ensure that employee queries and complaints are not ignored. It shows that employees are valued and are cared for equally. The HR policies provide employees with all the necessary information.
Though government regulations mandate organisations to have specific policies to protect employee interests, there are other policies, such as social media and flexible work culture, that companies must have to adapt to the changes in the work environment. Designing effective HR policies need effort and time that’s why we will discuss a few essential policies that an organisation must have.
1. Confidentiality Policy
The confidentiality policy the means to keep the secrecy about some essential topics and information in the company. The policy specifies a particular set of information or concerns that the employee can’t disclose anywhere or with anyone unless directed by the company. That can be anything, such as new software code, product research or marketing strategy.
The confidentiality policy should also inform employees about the possible disciplinary action that can be taken against them in case of violation. It is also an excellent idea to let people know the process they are supposed to follow in case of such an incident.
2. Employee Wages
The primary reason for the most employment is financial. Payroll and wages are one of the most important policies that the company should have. The salary and benefits the company offers should not just adhere to the market standards to provide a competitive salary but also align with various government laws and regulations.
The wages that are given to the employees should follow the policies related to minimum wage and equal pay for both skilled and unskilled employees. The employee is entitled to get the wages on the agreed-upon date.
Mandatory deductions should be followed with the disbursement of salaries to stay compliant with the regulations. Plus, the employee should be aware of the deduction that the company is making from their salary. An employer can’t make any unlawful deductions from the salary or they may face penalties.
3. Remote Work Policy
There was a significant shift in the way organisations work as the pandemic forced most companies to allow their employees to work remotely. The shift in way people work or look at work has changed. Many companies still work remotely, and most continue flexible work in some capacity.
That makes it necessary for every company to have a flexible work policy, It should set expectations for the employees and convey the conditions for which remote work will be allowed. The policy must include guidelines for flexibility in working hours and performance management parameters.
4. Code of Conduct
The code of conduct is necessary to ensure appropriate behaviour at work. This policy should be designed to ensure a safe and ideal work environment for everyone. The employees’ code of conduct provides a guideline about the expected behaviour at work that ensures no one gets mistreated and proper discipline is followed.
A code of conduct policy may include many things, such as appropriate clothing for the workplace, language, and the communication medium to be followed. The code of conduct also includes details about the disciplinary actions upon the breach of the ideal conduct and how to report such incidences.
5. Leave Policies
Every employee, irrespective of their nature of work or the duration they work with the company, require time off for various reason. You need a well-drafted leave policy that guides employees about the time off they are entitled to and when they should not take leave. The other necessary information should be included, such as,
- Guidelines on how to apply for leave
- All the types of leave and how they are defined
- The division of the number of leaves in arious categories
- How to pay cut is to be calculated in case of unpaid leaves, and the conditions
- The procedure to be followed in case of queries, objections and much more.
The anti-harassment policy should be designed to make everyone feel safe at work. An anti-harassment policy is crucial at any workplace today to make everyone feel safe. The policy should follow the government guidelines, which require any company with more than ten employees to establish a special committee to address harassment-related complaints.
The anti-harassment policy should clarify that any inappropriate sexual comment or action won’t be tolerated at workplace. The awareness of such policy and the disciplinary actions that an employee is likely to face due to violating the guidelines are as important as the policy’s existence in the first place.
The best way to ensure that everyone follows respectful behaviour is to inform the employees about the same during the onboarding and encourage communication.
HR can also conduct small workshops or events to educate people about anti-harassment and antidiscrimination policies that expect everyone to be treated with respect irrespective of their gender, caste, religion, nationality and age. That ensures safe and respectful conduct for everyone at the workplace.
Also Read: Workplace Harassment: Still a Grim Reality!
7. Parental Leave Policies
In India, a Law for maternity leave states that any woman who has worked for the company for a minimum of 80 days is entitled to get 26 weeks of maternity leave for the first two kids. Twelve weeks of unpaid leave can be taken for the subsequent childbirths. The act also has a provision for leave in case of miscarriage.
We are also looking at providing paternity leave for 15 days to take care of their newborn baby and the mother. The company can attract penalties in case the company does not have an appropriate policy in place. At the same time, such policies say a lot about how much you care for your employees and can be essential to one’s job selection decision.
8. Termination of Employment
Employers must let go of their employees at some point for various reasons. The termination of employment policy should include,
- The total duration of the notice period
- Obligations of employees while serving notice periods, such as transfer of Knowledge and responsibilities
- Company’s obligation towards the employee in the notice period
- Any notable changes regarding the leave’s structure and conditions
When employee leaves, some exit formalities need to be taken care of. The employer also has to ensure the proper transfer of responsibilities, assets and knowledge from the employee. If any transfer is left undone, it can cause discrepancies in future.
The termination policy or the end of employment policy should be designed to ensure that all the formalities are carried out smoothly. With a good termination policy, the company can set clear expectations for the employee, and HR gets a well-defined process to follow.
The policy also helps to enhance the offboarding process. As the last interaction of employees with the company is offboarding, a good termination policy can contribute to the probability of employees rejoining the company in future.
9. Social Media Policy
Social media policy is crucial to be included in the company’s employee handbook. The company’s brand as an employer or a product and service provider is very important for the business. The reputation in the market can very much make or break businesses today.
There is no secret about the significant role that social media plays in building and destroying a brand. That makes it necessary for the company to draft a social media policy which includes guidelines about the use of professional social media channels as well as personal accounts of the employees if necessary.
The policy should include what information or the type of post should not be done by the employee and the possible disciplinary action or repercussion in case they violate the policy guidelines.
10. Pay and Timekeeping
The pay and timekeeping policy are vital for all companies. Those businesses that work in multiple shifts and calculate time and pay with varied rules must have this policy in their employee handbook. Multiple shifts and overtime or deduction in the pay can make it very confusing for the employee to keep up with.
The pay and timekeeping policy should clearly state the importance of recording accurate time, overtime pay scale, and rules applicable for deductions. The policy should also include the concerned department or the person to whom employees can ask their queries or complain about any miscalculations.
11. Health and Safety
The health and safety policy should be drafted according to the government guidelines for the specific industry or the nature of the work. Some work responsibilities may involve the risk to the individual’s physical health. That may include working with heavy machinery and exposure to hazardous chemicals.
The health and safety policy of the company should set the guidelines and expectations from the employee that should be followed to ensure their own safety as well as the safety and security of their colleagues.
You should also include the steps they must follow in case of any work-related injury or accident. Include the time from the incidence within which the incidence has to be reported and any damage control or first-aid procedure that has to be followed.
HR policies are necessary for discipline and professional conduct in the workplace. With changes in the work environment, the policies should also change and ensure the benefit of both employee and the employer.
While you are drafting a policy you must include important details and keep up with the government regulations related to concerned policy. This way you can safegaurd interst of employees as well as achieve company goals.