WORKPLACE RELATIONS SPECIALISTS 
It’s difficult to identify a comprehensive list of HR policies that employers should introduce since, as noted above, HR policy needs often vary widely between organisations. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to designing effective HR policies; their content should be based on the unique needs and characteristics of the organisation and its workforce. Rather than following a ‘best practice’ approach which may be unsuitable for the diverse range of organisational contexts, a focus on why there’s a need for a particular policy, and how it’s aligned with the business strategy, allows an appropriate policy to be implemented for the particular context. HR practitioners need strong professional judgement to create policies that promote two-way relationships between their people and the organisation. Find out more in our research report From best to good practice HR: developing principles for the profession. 
 
It can be helpful to consider the type of policies that may be relevant to the organisation during the course of the employment life cycle: beginning employment, during employment and leaving employment. 
 
Beginning employment 
An organisation might have a distinct policy setting out its criteria for selection, together with other relevant policies for new joiners such as induction. Other examples of policies in this area might be referral payment (for existing employees who recommend friends). 
 
During employment 
Reward 
Policies might address areas such as how jobs are graded and how performance is rewarded; together with provisions for aspects of compensation packages, such as pensions/additional voluntary contributions and other benefits and allowances. 
 
Health, safety and well-being 
Policies might cover a disparate range of topics from prevention and management of work-related stress to handling hazardous materials. 
 
Employee relations and general HR issues 
As well as disciplinary and grievance policies, examples include: time off and leave for trade union activities, holidays, secondment, volunteering, parental or caring duties (such as maternity or paternity leave), communication, involvement and other employee behaviours, including employee voice and harassment and bullying. 
 
Learning and development 
Issues that might be covered by policies in this area would include courses and secondment opportunities, talent development, payment of professional fees and so on. 
 
Other issues 
Other policies that organisations may want to consider include diverse areas related to the wider business needs (for example corporate responsibility or anti-bribery measures) or those associated with emerging technology and new ways of working (the use of social networking sites, for instance). 
 
Ending employment 
There are many reasons why employment ceases, from voluntary resignation to dismissal, redundancy or retirement – some or all of which might be covered by formal written policies (for example, including information on the length of notice periods or the nature of redundancy consultation). 
 
Managing equality, diversity and inclusion 
Equality and diversity runs through all aspects of an organisation's policies. Discrimination on many personal characteristics, such as gender or race, is unlawful at all stages of the employment life cycle, while managing inclusion and valuing diversity is central to good people management and makes good business sense. Good practice suggests that an overarching equality and diversity policy should expressly inform the organisation's vision and values. The issue might then also be incorporated into many other policies (for example, recruitment and selection and reward). 
 
Beyond the organisation 
In some cases HR policies may need to extend beyond the organisation, for example in partnering arrangements such as joint ventures, outsourcing, strategic alliances or public-private sector commissioning models. It's advisable to consider where common policies may need to be applied or reviewed in light of new organisational arrangements. Find out more about our Beyond the organisation research. 
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Tagged as: HR Policies
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