Founders – what HR policies do you need to have in place?
When you begin employing staff of your own, you may realise that you need to have some formal HR policies and procedures in place for the company and your employees to follow. So where to begin and what’s necessary to start you off?
This will inevitably vary from business to business, but we’ll focus on the basic HR procedures and policies that every company needs.
Time Off Policy
How do your employees book annual leave? How much are they entitled to, and are there specific periods they are unable to take annual leave or need to save days for (for example, a Christmas shutdown period)?
If you need more help on this - see our setting up your time off policies resource.
Sick Leave Policy
How does an employee call in sick? When do they need to submit a doctor’s note Will they be having a return to work interview when they come back to work and what will they be paid for being off sick?
More specific information is available in our sick leave policy resource.
Parental Leave Policy
This is the period that a mother or father takes when they have had a babyy and need to care for this new child for the first 52 weeks. Eligibility requirements around paid leave vary so it's worth exploring what's appropriate for your business.
Some guidance on this one is available here.
This needs to include the stages of the disciplinary procedure that you as a company will follow. Including: reasons a team member might be disciplined, and what this means for their employment record.
This allows a team member to air any problem that they may have within their role or the company. The policy should outline the process that they will follow, the timescale that this will follow, and who will be dealing with it at all steps of the process.
IT and Social Media Policy
In the technology-filled world we live in today, it’s important to set some rules around IT within your company. Most people use social media in some capacity, so it's important not to have your company tarnished by anything related to your employees that could have a negative impact on your business or colleagues.
It’s worth also highlighting that emails coming from your business address should be viewed with a similar formality to writing a letter, so that employees understand the seriousness of what they put in an email.
Data Protection Policy
This concerns how you look after your employee, client, and supplier information. The policy will ensure it is stored correctly so that no unauthorised person can access information specific to individuals or companies.
This is ncreasingly important with the incoming General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in 2018. An introduction is available here.
Health and Safety Policy
This is essential to show that you respect the health, safety and welfare of anyone entering your premises or associated with your company. This policy should detail any risk assessments, who the first aider is, when fire drills are conducted and who maintains the fire extinguishers. It should go as far as specifying where the emergency exits are and where to go when there is a drill.
Drug and Alcohol Policy
Think about how you would deal with an employee under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, and what being under the influence whilst they are at work means for their employment.
Equality and Diversity Policy
This policy outlines the values that everyone associated with the business should follow. It should clarify that no discrimination will be tolerated and that all individuals are equal.
The above outlines cover some of the main HR policies and procedures to get you started that will protect you and your business. Depending on what your business does, there are many other policies which you may want in place.