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Workplace policies

Last updated February 2024

This chapter explains how to effectively develop, implement and vary your workplace policies.

What is a workplace policy?

Definition: Workplace Policy

A workplace policy is a set of rules and principles that aims to guide employees’ behaviour in the workplace.

A workplace policy is a form of direction by you to your employees about how they should behave.

An employee is obliged to obey your directions – such as those laid out in a policy – if they are lawful and reasonable. A direction by an employer will be lawful and reasonable if it has sufficient connection with the employee’s role and the work they perform.

An employee’s failure to follow a lawful and reasonable direction will provide you with grounds for dismissal.

Important: Although there may be legal implications of breaching workplace policies, they generally do not set out legal rights in the same manner as an employment contract, modern award or enterprise agreement. This gives you the freedom to change or update a policy as required.