What are employee policies?
Employee policies are documents that communicate an organisation’s values and expectations of employee performance and behaviour. If you are an employer, you have a right to make lawful and reasonable directions to your employees, and employee policies are one way to do that.
It should be noted that employee policies are different to an employment contract (sometimes referred to as an employment agreement) which is a legally binding contract.
Benefits of employee policies
All employees will have different ideas and expectations of what is appropriate in the workplace. As well as communicating your directions, policies are a convenient way for employees to understand what is expected of them, and to ensure consistency across your organisation.
A major benefit of employee policies is that they can be detailed and deal with issues outside of the employment contract. While an employment contract will focus more on crucial terms like notice requirements and intellectual property, employee policies can set expectations about more day to day things like dress code or drug and alcohol use.
Another benefit of employee policies if that they are dynamic documents. They provide flexibility that employment contracts cannot as they are easy to revise or add to. This is helpful as not only can they be tailored to suit your business initially, they can grow and change with your business as well.
Employee policies can be collated into a handbook. This makes accessing the policies easy for everyone and saves time when inducting new employees.
Content of employee policies
Employee policies can cover a wide range of topics, including, but not limited to:
- Anti-discrimination policy
- Work Health and Safety
- Internet, mobile phone and social media use
- Parental leave
- Performance management and termination processes
- Training and development
- Use of company property
- Code of conduct
Ultimately employee policies are not a legal requirement but they will be a helpful resource for you and your employees. If you would like more information about employee policies, please feel free to get in contact with one of our experienced employment lawyers at Frank Law on (02) 9688 6023.
This is not legal advice.