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This Letter to Employees About New or Updated Workplace Policies is designed to notify staff when an employer makes changes to their workplace policies, or introduces a new workplace policy.
It is designed as a simple letter which can be sent to all staff or to specific staff members. It brings the changes to their attention, and provides information about when the changes come into effect, and what staff members can do in order to review the relevant policy or policies.
Any time that a workplace policy is updated or implemented, it is important that employees are made aware of the changes, so that they know what is expected of them. This letter is designed to help with this, and to create a simple and clear line of communication.
This letter may be used for any workplace policies, including policies that are purchased from us, as well as any other policies. In case the employer is looking for new policies to use alongside this letter, we have a number of employment policies available. For general employment matters, consider our Employee Handbook.
For dealing with remote work during the Coronavirus pandemic, consider our Remote Work Policy during the Covid-19/Coronavirus Crisis.
For matters relating to the taking of temporary leave during the Coronavirus pandemic, consider our Coronavirus/COVID-19 Temporary Leave Policy.
For matters relating to workplace arrangements in response to the Coronavirus pandemic (such as cleaning and social distancing) consider our Workplace Health Policy for COVID-19/Coronavirus.
For matters relating to employee drug and alcohol use, consider our Drug and Alcohol Policy.
For matters relating to employee harassment and discrimination, consider our Discrimination Policy.
For matters relating to employee social media use, consider our Social Media Policy.
How to use this document
Use this letter to send an update to all staff, to a particular department, or to specific people within the employer's organisation.
The letter can be used to announce changes that are coming into effect immediately, or it can announce changes that are coming into effect on some future date.
It is important that the letter also informs employees about how they can review the relevant policy or policies. Some employers choose to attach copies of the relevant policies with the letter (either as a hard copy or as an email attachment). Other employers choose to make the policies available somewhere (such as online, or in a staff room). Whichever way the employer chooses to do this, it is important that the employer makes the policies available for employees to review. Within this letter, there is an option to tell employees what the employer is doing to make the policies available.
In some cases, employees may have follow up questions or concerns about the policy changes. Therefore it is also important that the employer makes sure they are available to address employee concerns. Again, this letter includes an option to provide contact details where employees may direct any follow up questions.
Once the letter has been prepared, it can be distributed to all relevant employees. This is usually done by email or in hard copy.
There are no specific laws that apply to this letter. However, there are a range of different laws that may be relevant to any policies that the employer implements.
The National Employment Standards, as set out in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Commonwealth) apply to many Australian workplaces.
Some employees may be affected by modern awards or enterprise agreements. If such an award or agreement applies, then that will set out some additional minimum standards with which the employer must comply.
In addition, each state and territory has legislation that deals with various employment matters such as occupational health and safety or discrimination.
General principles of contract law, as provided by the common law, may also apply.
If in doubt, seek legal advice.
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