6 Must Haves for Australian businesses.
Clear and effective HR policies are an important part of any successful start-up or established business. They set out clear ground rules and expectations for employees, and provide important protection for companies. However, they can be the last thing on the mind of a CEO.
If you’re unsure where to start, here’s our Top 5 must have HR policies for small/medium businesses:
- Work Health and Safety Policy – Workplace injuries can impact your business in a number of ways – reduced productivity, workers compensation payments/premiums, sick pay obligations and the cost of finding personnel to replace the worker while they are off work. A WH&S policy sets out the Company’s expectations to keep the workplace safe.
- Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination Policy – An employer can be held legally responsible for acts of discrimination or harassment within their business? In order to minimise this risk, a company must show that it has taken all reasonable steps to prevent this conduct from occurring and that they have procedures in place for dealing with complaints. In the absence of a comprehensive and objective policy, this is almost impossible!
- Code of Conduct – This is important for setting the standards of behaviour you expect from your employees, such as dress code, mobile phone use, use of company property, social media and internet use, alcohol at work events, etc.
- Leave Policy – For businesses that have seasonal busy periods, job share arrangements and key employees with little support, a leave policy can be extremely valuable. A leave policy can include ‘blackout’ periods during busy periods with increased notice periods for employees applying for leave, to ensure you aren’t understaffed.
- Performance Counselling and Discipline Policy – Performance management is a common practice within any business, but it can often be a difficult and delicate process. It is also the most common area of disagreement between a business and its employees. A policy will assist you in remaining compliant with requirements of procedural fairness and provide guidance on how unacceptable conduct will be dealt with.