Key HR Policies Every Business Needs

Elias Hubbard
May 9, 2019

There are many HR policies that organisations in all different sectors have to keep employees safe and prevent potential risks from occurring to clients and colleagues alike. Policies are vital for commercial sectors as they make it very clear to everyone involved what is considered unacceptable behaviour, whether it’s on an individual basis in relation to the company or towards other colleagues or customers. Of course, there are policies that businesses have to have in place from a legal standpoint, but while others aren’t mandatory, they’re certainly advisable. These are three policies that every good HR system should consider for your business.


Drug and Alcohol Misuse


UK statistics on the misuse of drugs and alcohol are shocking, with studies suggesting that over nine million people drink over the recommended daily limit. Naturally, abusing drugs and alcohol impacts your ability to perform well at work and to attend regularly and punctually, but there are other implications. To show up at work under the influence means you’re more likely to cause accidents or harm to yourself or colleagues, particularly if you work in an industry that revolves around machinery or dangerous equipment. It also impacts your reputation if your colleagues and senior staff see you showing up at work unable to perform well because you’re drunk or have been abusing drugs.


HR should have policies in place that make it clear what the rules on this are and what the consequences will be for those who go against the rules. However, it’s also important to have the flexibility to consider other scenarios such as prescription medication that may have undesirable side effects. Employers need to be supportive of their staff while also helping colleagues who have a serious dependency issue to find help.


Driving Dangerously


There are many risks associated with driving in a work context, which are typically covered by Health and Safety legislation, the UK Road Traffic Act and the Highway Code. Those whose entire job is driving will have their own policies in place but it’s often not as clear where people who only drive occasionally for work fit in. Driving in a work-capacity means that companies have a duty of care for their employees, whether they’re driving their own vehicle or a company-owned vehicle. From a HR point of view, policies should be in place to provide guidance for employees who are driving for work purposes such as the need to keep the car in a road-worthy condition or to make sure that the vehicle is insured for business use. There may also be a need for employees to have regular eye check-ups or to make sure that they are contactable when they’re on the go.


Internet Use


While there are many company facilities that employees have access to, the one that is most accessible and most likely to be abused is internet and IT systems. It can be beneficial from a company point of view to make a clear policy that outlines what is acceptable, as different organisations can differ on their approach to internet use. While you don’t want your staff to be spending all of their time updating social media or making online purchases when they’re at work, an overly-strict approach may make employees disengaged. So, when creating a policy, it pays to be as clear as possible about client data and the use of internal systems so as to protect the business and customers from security breaches. This will ensure that everyone who has access to the company systems will be aware of the correct procedures and will help alert staff to any suspicious behaviour that they need to be aware of.

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