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One of the biggest challenges we see our clients facing in running a business is management of employees and complying with workplace laws. Having up to date and effective workplace policies and procedures can be an important piece in reducing the risk of claims being made against you by employees as well as ensuring that you create a workplace culture that reflects the values of your organisation.

Good workplace policies will assist with consistency in decision making processes of managers and team leaders and help your business to run in a more organised and efficient manner.

While you can have a workplace policy for any aspect of your business that you want to encourage certain values and processes to be implemented, some are more beneficial to certain industries while there are others that are important to any industry.

Here are six workplace policies that your business should implement:

  1. Employee Code of Conduct

Perhaps the most important document to have in a workplace to ensure that the culture you are creating reflects the attitudes and values you want in your organisation. This policy sets a minimum standard of conduct expected from employees and can include everything from a standard of dress required, through to treatment of clients or customers and personal and professional standards.

  1. Leave Policy

A clear leave policy is essential in helping your business run more efficiently. This policy sets out when and how employees are able to apply for and take leave so that the business is not disadvantaged, but also must be reasonable and not unfair toward employees.

  1. Bullying and Harassment Policy

One of the most recent developments in the Fair Work jurisdiction is the implementation of anti-bullying laws so a policy that clearly defines what is bullying and what steps employees can take if they believe they are being bullied is crucial for the current workplace.

  1. Anti-discrimination Policy

Similar to the bullying and harassment policy, a good anti-discrimination policy will set out what constitutes discrimination and will have clear reporting procedures and steps required to be taken by the employer, including investigation of any complaints and decision making.

  1. Social Media Use Policy

Use of social media in the workplace is becoming an increasing issue for employers. It can be a double edged sword as social media can be a powerful tool if used properly, or a drain on resources and damaging to the reputation of a business if it is misused. So a policy that clearly sets parameters of use that is expected by your business is a vital tool.

  1. Disciplinary Policy

Where there has been any breach of any policy or other directive from an employer, then it will be important to have a consistent and transparent approach to any disciplinary action that will be taken as a result. So a clear policy that establishes what behaviours will lead to disciplinary action, as well as what will constitute a warning and what may constitute immediate termination, is one of the most effective ways to minimise unfair dismissal claims from employees.

Whilst it is important to establish effective policies like these, they are only a piece of the workplace puzzle. It is just as important to ensure that the policies are implemented by managers and followed consistently. If used correctly, polies are a vital tool in making your business run more efficiently and effectively.

If you require assistance with developing workplace policy and plans for their implementation, please contact us at Lynn & Brown Lawyers on 9375 3411 or https://www.lynnandbrown.com.au/contact/

About the author:

Ryan Martin is a lawyer at Lynn & Brown Lawyers.  Ryan has a wealth of experience in the area of employment law and has appeared regularly on behalf of his clients in Fair Work Australia, courts and tribunals.  He also has experience in the areas of commercial law and civil litigation.

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