A guide to employment policies and procedures

There are a wide range of HR policies and procedures which can help to establish the rights and responsibilities of managers and employees and promote a smoother and more harmonious employment relationship.

Health and safety

Employers with five or more employees are legally required to have a written health and safety policy. This should deal with various workplace health and safety matters such as accident reporting and action to be taken in case of a fire. It must set out the duties of both employer and employees with regard to avoiding risks in the working environment.

Disciplinary and grievance

The written statement of employment, which employers are legally required to provide to their employees, must contain information about the following:

●    who to go to with a grievance
●    how to complain about how a grievance is handled
●    how to complain about a disciplinary or dismissal decision

In practice, it’s best to implement a grievance and disciplinary policy and refer to this in the written statement of employment. The procedures contained in this policy should take account of the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures.

Equal opportunities

All employers must ensure that they comply with the Equality Act 2010 and prevent discrimination in the workplace. An equal opportunities policy sets out the rights and responsibilities of managers and staff with regards to avoiding discrimination at all stages of an employment relationship, even in matters such as recruitment.

Other policies which should be considered include:

●    Confidentiality – covering how confidential information is stored and obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998
●    Sickness – dealing with sickness reporting, prolonged absence and sick pay
●    Anti-bribery and corruption – demonstrating compliance with the Bribery Act 2010
●    Internet and communications – governing employee communications including use of internet at work
●    Maternity, paternity and parental – covering issues such as leave entitlement and pay
●    Flexible working and BYOD – including guidance for those who work from home or remotely from time to time and use their own equipment in the office (known as “Bring Your Own Device” or BYOD)

If you would like legal assistance with drafting or checking your existing employment policies and procedures, to ensure they are compliant with the latest regulations, get in touch Caroline Tomlinson with the employment law team at CH Legal  or call 0845 4786 354.