A good, reliable set of workplace policies are an invaluable management tool for managing expectations and behaviour in a workforce. They provide clear and efficient decision-making pathways for managers and predictable and secure guidance to a workforce. Poorly drafted workplace policies can have the opposite effect, costing a business time and money and exposing it to the risks of litigation.
Courts can construe workplace policies as terms of employment contracts that are legally binding on employers and employees alike. It is important to ensure you are properly advised as to the legal consequences of your policy framework and that the policies are drafted to give effect to your intentions.
Policies and procedures can be implemented within a workplace for a variety of purposes. Common examples include:
- Health and safety policies;
- Codes of conduct/discipline;
- Grievance and dispute resolution policies;
- Investigation policies;
- Expenses policies;
- Equipment policies; and
- Social media policies.
The factors that influence the kinds of policies implemented by a business, the detail with which they are prepared and the way in which they are implemented include:
- The size of the workforce;
- The nature of the work;
- Whether the workforce is exposed to any special risks;
- Worker entitlements;
- What plant and/or equipment is supplied to the workforce; and
- The administrative capacity of the business.
There is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ policy or procedure. Each document must be properly adapted to your work environment, taking into account a broad range of workplace rights and interests held by all participants and stakeholders in the business.
We take a careful approach to assisting you develop workplace policies and procedures that allow flexibility where it is needed but which you can rely upon as a solid bedrock for managing expectations and behaviour in your workplace in accordance with the law. We work with you, advising you about key decisions to be made when developing and implementing policies and equipping you to make the decisions you need to make.
To speak to us about developing policies for your workplace, or if the time has come to review your workplace policies for legal compliance, please fill out the form below to arrange a consultation.