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Employment Policy – Need, benefits, and essentials

Nevin Clinton,

An employment policy is a key aspect of any business or company and also one of the most vital ones. It helps increase the understanding between the employer and the employee and establishes the nature of the relationship between the two. There can be various facets to an employment policy which can be included all in the same document or there can be separate ones. Examples include a disciplinary policy, grievance redressal policy, absence management, non-disclosure of confidential information, data protection, equal opportunities, and much more. These policies help in informing the expected appropriate behavior in the workplaces thereby making clear what is expected and what is not. 

Need for a well-drafted employment policy and its benefits

If an employment policy is drafted effectively, coupled with systematic procedures for complaints and a lack of discrimination, it can pay rich dividends in ensuring employee satisfaction. Such a policy helps in increasing confidence in the employees and also helps in ensuring that the employees don’t have any room to behave inappropriately or exploit the employer by any means. On the other hand, if there is no proper employment policy in place, there could be confusion and a lack of clarity especially when there are complaints to be filed. This is exactly why it is of paramount importance to frame an employment policy robustly.

Further, it is important to keep changing an employment policy with time as newer challenges, requirements and legal standards come up. For example, in today’s digital world, it becomes essential to frame a data protection and social media policy. Such aspects were unknown back in the day and it is necessary to evolve with time.

Now, having dealt with the need for an employment policy, concerning the benefits, they are there for the world to see. Any policy that is framed well and is fair is beneficial because it gives rise to clarity. With employment policy also having various facets such as disciplinary policies, absence management, opportunities and so much more, it becomes hugely beneficial and one of the key aspects of the very identity of a company.

Essentials of an employment policy

An employment policy can be as detailed or as concise as it can get, but the fact of the matter is that it must contain certain ‘essentials'. First and foremost in that regard is the code of conduct or a disciplinary policy. A complete procedure concerning the expected standard of conduct and the action that would be taken for not adhering to the same must be given. This can include policies on sexual harassment at the workplace, exploitation, and so on. Guidelines on the usage of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs inside the premises can also be included here or as a separate policy as well. Secondly, there must be a policy that lays down the hierarchy and the modes of communication. Guidelines on the usage of technological devices on the job and the like can be elaborated here. In that regard, a policy on privacy especially concerning data has become all the more important. 

Next up, a policy on non-discrimination or equality must be provided. This can lead to increased confidence in the employees and can also dissuade them from engaging in discriminatory conduct. Moving on, yet another crucial policy is working time and absence management. Provisions on maternity and paternity leave can be given here. A financial policy dealing with pay, bonuses, and so on is also essential. Grievance redressal is another key policy that helps in laying down how and through whom redressal must be done. Yet another key policy is that of health and safety. Ensuring the same through a sound policy will go a long way in employee satisfaction.

Depending upon the nature of the company, there could be several other policies that could be introduced. If all of these are drafted soundly, they are bound to be of help to both employees and employers.

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