There are a range of policies that employers need to put in place to meet legal requirements and to aspire to best practice.
Some of the key policies your organisation should aim to have in place are:
'Flexibility' and 'flexible work' are used to describe a wide range of work styles and employment practices and can include all kinds of employment which differ from the traditional nine to five full-time job. Flexibility in the way that colleagues undertake work can have a real and positive impact on the performance of individuals and teams.
Work life balance
Getting the work-life balance right is high on the agenda for many people who have personal responsibilities and interests outside of work. Often people now want increased flexibility over other benefits.
Maternity, Paternity and Adoption
Supporting all staff in their obligations to their families is important and a policy for maternity, paternity and adoption is one of the policies that help organisation achieve this.
Social media internet and telephone policy, Data protection
Database, email, Facebook, blogs and blogging, it seems like an ever growing list of internet-based ways for communicating – and as an employer you will need to have a clear and well thought out approach to how you manage electronic media in the workplace.
Employers may be liable for misuse of electronic media in the workplace. At the same time, statutory safeguards in the form of the Human Rights Act and the Data Protection Act mean that employers should be wary of excessive or unnecessary intercepting and monitoring of computer use.
Whistleblowing is when a worker reports suspected wrongdoing at work - officially this is called ‘making a disclosure in the public interest’. A worker can report things that are not right, are illegal or if anyone at work is neglecting their duties, including:
- someone’s health and safety is in danger
- damage to the environment
- a criminal offense
- the company isn’t obeying the law (for example by not having the right insurance)
- covering up wrongdoing
This is an area where an organisation may not only want to meet the legal requirements, but go beyond the minimum, essential requirements of a Whistle Blowing policy and incorporate additional good practice features.
Making sure that you have these policies and that they are regularly reviewed is important and will save you time in the long term.
Help with Rights Benefits and Essential Policies
A range of services provided by PERS (Pay & Employment Rights Service) are available to help your organisation with its Rights, Benefits and Essential Policies. Model policies are available to download on the PERS website, and one to one advice is available with an employment law or HR advisor. To find out more contact PERS