If you are an employer who is confused about different types of policies to be implemented in your organization to protect the interests of all the stakeholders, this guide is for you. This guide covers some of the major policies to be implemented by every organization.
Policy and procedures are set in place to establish the rules of conduct within an organization and it stipulates the rights and obligations of both the employees and employer. Having properly drafted policies will help the employer communicate its rules and regulations properly and will help all stakeholders understand and follow its rules. Following are some of the important policies an organization needs to implement for smooth functioning and to adhere to the applicable laws.
If you want to set the professional standards and behaviours expected from the employees and other stakeholders, it's better to have a written Employee Code of Conduct in place and make it easily accessible to all employees and other stakeholders. It is not meant to replace other policies or employment agreements. Nor does it create any contractual relationship but act as a supplementary document to support the employment agreements and other policies of the organization.
An Employee Code of Conduct Policy is a set of rules, principles, values, behaviours, which the employees are expected to follow while working for your organization and defines the desired behaviour. A well-drafted Code clarifies the organizations' vision, values and principles to both the internal and external stakeholders and can be used as a benchmark to evaluate the performance and conduct of the employees.
A Code of Conduct covers a lot of areas including (1) compliance with applicable laws, (2) how to tackle a situation where conflict of interest arises,(3) how the organization and employees should ensure equal opportunity in the organization, (4) policy against harassment and discrimination, (5) how to properly use and handle the organization's property including intellectual property and confidential information, (6) the personal appearance and communications of the employee, (7) drug and alcohol policy, (8) how to report any violation of the Code and so on.
Though it is not possible to capture or answer every situation wherein ethical judgement is required to be answered by the Code of Conduct but most such situations have been tried to be included in the Policy.
The main purpose of a Code of Conduct is to set and maintain a standard of acceptable behaviour to all stakeholders in an organization. It reminds the employees of what is expected from them and includes disciplinary actions in case of any violation. It also helps the employees to face and tackle ethical dilemma's while working for your organization and enhance their morale.
If an employee understands the difference between what to do and what not to do at the workplace, many untoward issues can be avoided. Having a properly drafted Employee Code of Conduct will help both the employer and employee in long-term growth and development.
A Code of Conduct also acts as a public statement providing users and customers of the organization with an understanding of the ethics of the organization, how the data is being handled and other information and standards that might concern the public.
As per the new POSH Act, 2013 ( The Sexual Harassment of Woman at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013), every organization is required to define its sexual harassment policies, prevention systems, procedures and rules for its employees.
A POSH Policy is a document used to make awareness among the employees and other personnel of an organization about the POSH Act. The purpose of this Policy is to provide a safe, secure and enabling environment, free from sexual harassment to every woman.
Having a POSH policy for a business is essential in making sure the employees are adhering to the POSH rules and to ensure that the employees are treated with dignity and respect by other employees of the organization.
Any organization with more than 10 employees shall have constituted an Internal Complaints Committee ("ICC") to deal with sexual harassment complaints at the workplace. If you fail to constitute ICC, you may be liable to pay a penalty amount of up to Rs 50,000.
The POSH Policy applies to all employees of the organization. Further, the Policy endeavours to protect its women employees at any place visited by her which arises out of or during her employment with the organization including transportation provided by the organization.
Thus, having a properly drafted POSH Policy will be helpful for you to describe the steps and procedures taken by you to mitigate sexual harassment at the workplace and this will improve the morale and confidence among the employees to work diligently for your organization.
A Remote Work Policy is a document used by Employers to outline general rules and procedures for employees who work remotely outside their physical office location.
With the change in scenarios, more organizations are letting their employees work remotely. Working remotely is a new norm and nobody want's their employee to lose their attention and focus on their duties while working remotely. Thus to outline the rules and regulations while working remotely is imperative to keep the employees on track and inform them of dos and don'ts.
A Remote Work Policy is different from that of a Remote Work Agreement. A Remote Work Agreement is custom made for each employee and is entered into between an employee and the organization. On the other hand, a Remote Work Policy is created for the Organization and will be applicable for any employees working remotely.
A Remote Work Policy covers the (1) category of employees eligible to work remotely, (2) schedule and overtime rules, (3) obligations of the employees while working remotely, (4) equipment policy of the organization - this includes equipment provided by the company, maintenance of equipment, office supplies provided, etc., (5) performance reviews and reporting of duties while working remotely, (6) safety requirements and insurance coverage, (7) confidential information and data security guidelines and rules, etc.
Having a properly drafted Remote Work Policy will help the organization guide their employees and to avoid any disputes in the future.
A Social Media Policy is a document used to advise the employees of an organization about their use of social media. With the rapid increase in the use of social media sites, it is pertinent to have a well-drafted policy to guide your employees about the proper uses and restrictions.
Having a social media policy for a business is essential in making sure the employees know what they should and should not do on social media channels. Additionally, it helps the organization to protect against any legal or security issues. Adherence to a properly drafted social media policy will also help the organization to protect its reputation, goodwill and increases employee advocacy.
The policy covers the following important areas, (1) rules for use of social media, (2) duties of the organization's online spokesperson, (3) media policy - who in the organization is allowed to respond to any media queries about the organization, (4) reporting: the procedures to be followed in case of any person come across any derogatory or negative post about the organization, (5) ownership of media account and contents: this specifies who own the official social media accounts and their contents and so on.
With the rapid growth using social media platforms along with remote work set-up's it is pertinent to have social media policy to control and guideline the usage of social media platforms by the employees.
Thus, to an organization, it is pertinent to have internal policies to guide the employees and other stakeholders of the organization. Having detailed policies on different topics will help the stakeholders of the organization to tackle the dilemmas and other hurdles with ease. This will also help in the smooth functioning and long term growth of the organization.