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A workplace policy is a set of rules and principles that aims to guide the behaviour of your employees in relation to their work and the workplace. This invaluable set of legally accurate workplace policies will make it easy for you to customise policies that will:

  • inform your employees about what is expected of them, such as behavioural and performance standards;
  • clearly communicate information to new employees;
  • provide rules and guidelines for decision-making in routine situations so that employees do not need to continually ask senior managers;
  • outline a consistent and clear response to situations arising from employee interaction;
  • demonstrate your commitment to ensuring your employees will be treated fairly and equally;
  • provide an acceptable method of dealing with complaints and misunderstandings to help avoid claims of bias and favouritism;
  • outline a clear framework for decision-making; and
  • protect you from legal risk by ensuring that you are better equipped to defend employee claims of breached employment legislation.

Make sure your employees are inducted, trained, and competent in your policy – they need to have access to the policy and be regularly re-trained in it to ensure its effectiveness.

To some extent, the type and size of your business will determine which policies you need to have in place. For example, you will not be able to justify a system of contact officers for a bullying policy if you are a small business, or if a number of your employees usually work on the road, away from head office.

However, your business should at least have well-developed versions of the following policies:

  • Code of Conduct;
  • Confidential Information Policy;
  • Drug and Alcohol Policy;
  • Anti-discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy;
  • Internet and Email Usage Policy;
  • Performance Review Policy;
  • Privacy Policy;
  • Social Media Policy;
  • Workplace Bullying Policy; and
  • Workplace Health and Safety Policy.

While most policies are in writing, they may also exist as an unwritten rule, custom or practice. However, it is a good idea to avoid uncertainty by implementing a written policy.

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Top stories for Workplace Policies

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Workplace manslaughter bill introduced in Victoria

Workplace Policies

The Victorian government has released its proposed legislation to insert criminal manslaughter offences in to the Victorian Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHS Act). This would create a new criminal offence of workplace manslaughter, being conduct of an employer or […]

By Charles Power on November 13th, 2019

Your questions answered: Do we have to pay superannuation for overtime?

Workplace Policies

Q Do award/agreement-free employees get super on overtime that isn’t paid at a higher rate? A Super should be paid on ordinary time earnings, which means the ordinary hours worked (i.e. not overtime). However, if ordinary hours of work are […]

By Portner Press on October 16th, 2019

How to protect your trade secrets from being disclosed

Workplace Policies

Many employment contracts use the definition of a trade secret as a type of confidential information that must be kept confidential. Like confidential information, a trade secret is information that is not accessible in the public domain. However, the concept […]

By Charles Power on October 11th, 2019

Your questions answered: Can an employee come in early to avoid traffic?

Workplace Policies

Q Our employee wants to start work early (around 8:00am) to avoid traffic, but our requirement of work is from 9:00am. We have asked for written consent from the employee that specifies that they are coming in early for personal […]

By Portner Press on October 9th, 2019

Changes to paid parental leave and unpaid superannuation laws proposed

Workplace Policies

Paid parental leave entitlements to be increased The Paid Parental Leave work test is being altered to take into account the circumstances of pregnant employees who are unable to continue working because of the hazardous nature of their employment that […]

By Charles Power on October 4th, 2019

Your questions answered: Can we choose what doctor our employee sees?

Workplace Policies

Q When an employee is injured at work, is the employer within its rights to request the employee to go to the company doctor? We understand they may refuse treatment? But can they refuse a reasonable request to go to […]

By Portner Press on August 28th, 2019

Banerji judgment sets a precedent for public sector workers

Workplace Policies

  You can set rules for what your employees can say and do outside their work, provided there is a relevant connection with their employment. When your employee disparages your business in their own time they may breach their contractual […]

By Charles Power on August 21st, 2019

Your questions answered: Can we track our employees’ movements using GPS?

Workplace Policies

Q We would like to install a tracking app into company mobile phones, especially those carried by delivery drivers and sales reps who spend most of their working time on the road. Can we do this legally? A You can […]

By Portner Press on August 5th, 2019

Worker who won fingerprint scanning case denied reinstatement

Workplace Policies

An employee who won a landmark unfair dismissal case after being sacked for refusing to provide fingerprint data to his employer has been denied reinstatement by the Fair Work Commission (FWC). In the previous full bench hearing, the employer said […]

By Portner Press on July 31st, 2019

Your questions answered: Can we require employees to disclose what medication they are taking?

Workplace Policies

Q We have several workers who take medication for depression and other psychological issues. One worker, in particular, is of great concern to us. Are we able to request that these workers (or all workers) disclose the number and types […]

By Portner Press on July 5th, 2019