The pandemic has forced the adoption of new ways of working, and HR policies need to reflect the shifts that are occurring. Updating the employee policies and handbooks as per the latest trends and regulations can help businesses set expectations, set boundaries, assign responsibilities, prevent mishaps at work, and ultimately protect the business from legal complications.
What is the purpose of HR Policies?
HR policies provide frameworks for an organization, through which all sorts of issues related to human resources can be solved. The implementation of stringent policies can help a business demonstrate that it meets the requirements for an ideal work environment.
Must have HR Policies
1. Working from Home Policy
COVID 19 has made workplaces allow their employees to work remotely. However, not all jobs and employees are well-suited for remote work, so it is important to clarify your organization’s position on remote work itself. “Teleworking/telecommuting” means working from a home or from another location rather than being required to go to the physical workplace or the employer. The intention of a Working Home from Policy is to ensure safety and success for both the employee and the employer
2. Social Media Policy
“Social media” means any online websites, communities or social networks that allow users to create and share content, opinions, interests, and other information such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. A social media policy prevents any harm to the organization, its employees, clients, or other involved parties that can arise if social media channels are misused, misrepresented, or abused in a way. The purpose of this policy is to outline the expectations you have of your employees when it comes to social media use, that is associated with your organization.
3. Absenteeism/Attendance Policy
“Absenteeism” refers to a deliberate pattern of absences or late arrivals that need to be corrected to ensure that the organization is able to adequately staff its premises and achieve its organizational goals. Employee absences without reasonable cause affect the company’s ability to achieve those goals.
An Absenteeism and Attendance policy ensures that all employees of your organization are appropriately compensated for their hours of work.
4. Hiring Policy
A hiring policy details your hiring practices and promotes consistency within your employee recruitment process. No business can exist without having a strong policy for hiring. The complexity and scope of such a policy will vary based on the company size and the industry.
The purpose of a hiring policy is to outline the processes a business has to follow in order to ensure the hiring practices are fair, consistent, equitable, in line with all applicable legislation and align with the core values of the business.
5. Anti-harassment Policy
A respectful workplace is one that values diversity and inclusion, the dignity of the person, courteous conduct, mutual respect, fairness and equality, positive communication between people, and collaborative working relationships. Harassment is any objectionable or offensive behaviour that is known or ought to be reasonably known, to be unwelcome. It includes objectionable actions, comments (e.g. jokes, name-calling) or displays made on either a one-time or continuous basis that demean, belittle, or cause humiliation or embarrassment. Harassment can also take place digitally (e.g. text messages, social media, email or screensavers).
The Anti-harassment policy outlines the commitment of an employer to ensuring a positive and professional working environment in which people are treated with respect.
6. Hazard Identification Policy
Every business must be committed to identifying, assessing, and removing or controlling any hazards it can, to safeguard the health and safety of all of its employees. Appropriate action has to be taken to control or eliminate any known hazards and the business must proactively identify hazards whenever possible to prevent them from becoming a danger to employees or visitors to the workplace. A “hazard” is any practice, behavior, substance, condition, or combination of these that can cause injury or illness to people, or damage to property.
A Hazard Identification Policy helps in identifying, assessing, and removing or controlling any hazards it can in order to safeguard the health and safety of all of its employees.
7. Termination Policy
In Canada, every employment relationship is governed by a contract that grants employees rights regarding termination. This is because HR in Canada is different and does not support at-will employment. Businesses must be committed to ensuring that all employee terminations are handled fairly and consistently, in accordance with statutory employment practices, specifically the Employment Standards Code.“Termination” means a situation in which the employment relationship comes to an end due to a variety of reasons such as the employer ending the employment relationship.
A termination policy details how employee termination is handled inside your organization. A comprehensive termination policy helps businesses to optimize the termination process so as to avoid any drama that might affect the business negatively.
8. Pay Equity Policy
Pay Equity is equal pay for work of equal value. Equal Pay for Equal Work addresses situations in which men and women do the same work. The Pay Equity Act requires employers to pay female jobs at least the same as male jobs if they are of comparable value.
The purpose of a Pay Equity Policy is to demonstrate an organization’s dedication to Pay Equity, or providing equal pay for equal work, as legislated under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). Employee pay rates will be based on the skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions. Despite your company’s size, location, or industry, human resources-related issues will always be there and require you to find the time away from your core business activities to address them. Having stringent HR policies in place can help mitigate this pressure.