Articles

Published by: Heather Cowley

Taylor Walton - Helping you to Effectively Manage your Staff Handbook and Policies

Policies set out in a Staff Handbook form part of the essential tool kit for HR managers to:

  • set out standards of behaviour expected by the business of its employees and workers;
  • assist it in the running of the business;
  • reduce legal risks; and
  • enable the business to comply with good HR practice.

We are holding workshops for HR Managers to look at this important area.  At the workshops we will explore the contents of the ‘perfect’ staff handbook and policies businesses should implement to best protect their business.

Whilst it is the case that there are very few legal requirements on employers to have written policies, except for disciplinary and grievance procedures, information about pensions, health and safety (if 5 or more employees) and in some cases whistleblowing, there are strong legal reasons for including certain policies.  It is highly recommended that a business has an appropriate policy covering areas such as whistleblowing, bribery, equal opportunities, data protection, discrimination, harassment and the use of social media.

Problems in the workplace arising from the use of social media by employees is increasing. We have seen problems ranging from bullying and harassment to publication of sensitive/confidential data and damage caused to the reputation of businesses. A good social media policy should set out the standard of behaviour expected from employees when using social media and enable the business to take disciplinary action where appropriate.

It is also important to understand how certain policies work with each other.  For example the relationship between a social media policy and other associated policies such as a data protection policy to best protect the business.

We will also look at:-

  • the thorny issue of distinguishing between contractual and non-contractual terms; and
  • the risks to the business that certain non-contractual policies may become contractual as a result of custom and practice.

Policies in the Staff Handbook need to be refreshed and updated on a regular basis.  As we only accept a small number of attendees at our workshops you will have an opportunity to raise areas of concern about your policies with an experienced employment partner from Taylor Walton.

Our workshops on this topic will take place throughout June 2017. To book your place click here.