What are the goals of having HR policies?
Human Resource policies lay out the frameworks to ensure consistent decisions can be made within your organization and help your organization represent both internally and externally that it does meet the requirements for ethics, commitments to regulation, and training that are required in today’s workforce. HR policies set standards of behaviour, employee and employer obligations, as well as disciplinary procedures and reporting procedures. It is extremely vital for your organization to have HR policies in place as well as keep them current and up to date to protect both the employer and employees.
Today’s workplace HR policies should reflect the constant change and modernization we are facing in today’s workforce. There are important factors of keeping ethical, current, and successful HR policies that benefit the employees including helping employees receive adequate compensation, maintaining discipline in the workplace, protecting employees from peers’ poor behaviours, and help address employee problems as well as solve them in a timely and appropriate manner. HR policies should reflect the organizations' mission and vision as well as ensure every single employee of your organization is cared for, their needs are met, and guide training and development for employees for the benefit of your organization.
It is important to be aware of any regional laws relating to employee policies and to effectively communicate these policies to your employees in writing, usually within an employee handbook. In this handbook, the policies will depend on your organization’s location, industry, and size. There are also non-essential policies that you may wish to adapt depending on your business, these could include topics such as flexible working arrangements.
The 9 Essential HR Policies
Termination Policy – This policy states, for both the employer and employee, that either can terminate the employment relationship at any given time for any reason. This policy should typically be in the beginning of your employee handbook.
Health & Safety Policy – Following the Occupation Health and Safety Act, is it pertinent that your organization outlines a Health & Safety policy specific for your organization and industry. These policies will provide information on the safety and emergency procedures within the workplace as well as reporting procedures
Leave, Vacation, and Time-Off Benefits Policy – These policies outline your organization’s rules and regulations regarding holidays, sick days, and other time off benefits as required by law, typically provincially.
Sexual Harassment Policy – In today’s workplace, sexual harassment is a very serious concern and educating your employees with this policy is vital
Workplace Harassment and Discrimination Policy – As these are governed by federal and provincial laws and regulation, you must be aware and review the applicable laws to prohibit harassment and discrimination, as well as protect you and your employee.
Employment Classifications Policy – Define the employment classifications specific to your organization including full-time, part-time, or seasonal. This policy is key to determining which employees are eligible for benefits and/or overtime pay.
Meal and Break Periods Policies – Employees appreciate a clear policy on meal and break periods during the workday. Make sure to align these policies with provincial regulations.
Pay Policy - Employees must be informed on how to record their time worked, when pay periods occur, and any occasional procedures specific to your organization.
Code of Conduct and Attendance – The goal of this policy is to clearly communicate to employees when they must be available and ready for work as well as how to inform their supervisors of absences or lateness.