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The importance of internal company policies and procedures
16th Apr 2021
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The importance of internal company policies and procedures - Linkilaw Solicitors
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When a person joins a business as a new employee, it is almost certain that he or she will be required to read some company documentation. This documentation is likely to have been created by a team of lawyers or HR professionals, and it should set out the guidelines for the company’s practical and legal operations.

Some businesses choose to formulate a large range of documents when establishing these guidelines, whereas other companies only develop those that are strictly essential. This article will explain the functions of policy documents and procedures, using examples of both necessary and optional policy documentation.

Company policy documents are used to outline the internal company rules and workplace practices for persons working within and with the company (usually inclusive of independent contractors).

Company procedure documents are used to explain the processes that are to be followed in particular legal situations e.g., when disciplinary action is being taken, or a grievance is raised.

Nowadays, the need for policy documentation is more significant than ever, particularly given that an increased number of employees work remotely and communicate through a growing network of correspondence channels. This requires the establishment of many new guidelines regarding business practices and the transfer of company information.

Company policies are only advantageous if the company ensures their enforcement. Businesses must work to ensure that the implementation of policy documentation is effectively facilitated.

Why does a business need policy and procedure documents?

  • Having the correct policy documentation in place, as well as adequate information circulation amongst employees about its uses, is an extremely useful foundation for defending against prospective claims from employees (e.g., unfair dismissal claims, discrimination claims).
  • Documentation sets out a clear standard for employee workplace practice.
  • Documents can inform employees about exactly what they need to do and who to report to in various situations.
  • Policy and procedure documents assist in ensuring compliance with the law.
  • They serve as a training tool for staff.

Company policies and procedures

Some policies and procedures that are recommended or required by law:

  1. Health and Safety Policy.
  2. Equal Opportunity Policy.
  3. Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures.
  4. Bribery Policy.

Optional policies that some companies can consider:

  1. Absence Policy.
  2. Performance Management Policy.
  3. Employee Code of Conduct Policy.
  4. Internet and Social Media Policy.
  5. Compensation and Benefits Policy.

Companies must ensure that they have established their documentation for legally required policies before proceeding with the creation of further, optional procedures and policies. Policy documents are subject to continuous changes in policy management throughout the lifespan of a business.

The number of policy documents required by a company will vary depending on various factors. The more rules that employees are subject to, to more policy documents may be required. However, businesses should avoid implementing too many optional policies, as the excessive introduction of processes can result in the reluctance or resentment of staff, meaning that a balance must be struck.

At Linkilaw Solicitors, internal policy and procedure documentation packs are some of the numerous services we provide for growing businesses. If you have any concerns over what is required and ideal for your business, please contact our legal team by booking a call.

Our team of experienced legal professionals are here to help you in every phase of your business’ evolution.

Our legal commentary is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all developments in law and practice. Please seek legal advice before applying it to specific issues or transactions.

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