When Do I Need to Draft New Workplace Policies?
If you’re an employer or manager of a large business, you need to ensure that the relevant workplace policies are in place. These are basically legal documents that outline the appropriate response or actions in specified situations such as covering what is or is not unfair dismissal. Many businesses use workplace lawyers to help them draft new policies.
However, it can be difficult to know when you need new workplace policies, and exactly what these should cover. To help you make these initial decisions, we’ve created a short guide outlining when you should consider drafting new workplace policies:
When Current Policies Are Out of Date
If your current workplace policies are old and potentially outdated, you should definitely think about reviewing and potentially updating them. Old policies could contain misleading or incorrect information with the potential to lead to serious workplace incidents.
If the People Using the Policy Have Changed
It often happens that when a business grows, the people working under a specific policy will change. When this happens, you need to conduct a careful review to ensure everyone is covered.
In many cases, you will only need to update small parts of the existing policy. At times, though, you may even need to draft entire new documents that complement the existing ones. If this is the case, think seriously about getting help from a workplace lawyer or other industry expert.
When Workplace Procedures Have Changed
In general, workplace policies related to specific procedures, and/or pieces of equipment. If you’ve recently installed new machinery, updated your existing systems, or changed procedures, you may need to update your workplace policies.
Now, make sure that you don’t underestimate the importance of updating your policies in these situations. If you don’t, employees may ignore information that’s outdated or work in a dangerous matter – knowingly or not.
When an Incident Has Occurred
If a serious incident occurs in your workplace, you will need to review your existing policies to determine whether the incident could have been prevented. For example, if someone was injured while working with a specific piece of equipment, consider reviewing the existing safe use policy to determine whether or not they were following the rules.
Think About How Often Policies Are Used
If you have existing workplace policies that aren’t ever used, there might not be any point in keeping them. In this case, we’d recommend looking over your existing documents to see whether they’ve been used in the last six to twelve months. If so, you may need to review and, potentially, update them. If not, you can probably scrap them altogether.
Overall, workplace policy is a complicated topic that will generally need at least some input from an expert. Make sure that you sit down and review your existing policies from time to time, and don’t hesitate to draft new documents if you feel they are necessary. As always, remember that workplace policies are legally binding documents, which means that it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional.