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An Employee Code of Conduct Policy ("Code") is a set of rules, principles, values, behaviours, which the employees are expected to follow while working for an organization and defines the desired behaviour. A well-drafted Code clarifies the organization's 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.
This Code can be used for any type of organization, regardless of size and area of work. A Code covers a lot of areas including compliance with applicable laws, how to tackle a situation where conflict of interest arises, how the organization and employees should ensure equal opportunity in the organization, policy against harassment and discrimination, how to properly use and handle the organization's property including intellectual property and confidential information, the personal appearance and communications of the employee, drug and alcohol policy, how to report any violation of the Code and so on.
In case any employee violates the Code, the organization can set a progressive disciplinary action including verbal warning, warning letter, suspension, and dismissal from employment.
How to use this document?
This Code can be used as a separate document or can be attached along with the employee handbook of the organization. This Code is different from that of the employment agreement, as the employment agreement is between an employee and the organization, but a Code will be applicable for all the employees or a group of employees in the organization.
Under this Code, the organization can incorporate their specific rules and policies under relevant sections. Once the Code is filled out and printed, it can be circulated to the employees either as soft copies or physical copies; in either case, it is better to get the acknowledgement receipt from the employees.
It is always better to make this Code available to all employees and other stakeholders of the company.
The employment laws are covered under the respective Shops and Establishment Acts of the states concerned. In general, rules under the Indian Contract Act, 1872 will be applicable.
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