HR policies are a set of rules that businesses establish for building employee relationships at work. These guidelines are set to ensure consistency in the workplace by establishing acceptable behaviour standards, employee expectations, disciplinary procedures, and organizational duties. The HR policies are set by businesses to demonstrate their dedication and commitment to legal obligations, minimum employment standards, diversity, and ethics. The Human Resource Department is responsible for developing and upholding HR policies. These policies are applicable to all employment types – part-time, full-time temporary, and permanent.
Let us now have a closer look at the must-have HR policies that every organization should implement:
Recruitment and Hiring Policies: Good HR policies help ensure candidates have a pleasant hiring and onboarding experience by having a streamlined and structured hiring process. This significantly contributes to creating an appealing workplace that draws top talent. The hiring process can be cumbersome. Clearing defined policies make the jobs of HR easy. This will make them aware of the type of employee they are seeking, the benefits they can provide, and the process they will use to hire them.
Employment contract: The employee contract acts as an umbrella compassing a list of HR policies and agreements. Proper care needs to be taken by the companies to ensure that the contracts are fair and in accord with current employment laws where the employee is employed. Filing documents is critical as the employment framework is complex and diverse, thus making navigation easy. Expectation from the employees needs to be charted out clearly, along with their roles and responsibilities within the organizations. Resignation and termination clauses should be clearly defined.
Code of Conduct: The Code of Conduct contains the company’s rules and guidelines on staff behaviour that all employees must follow in the workplace. The policy includes a dress code, equal rights to all, electronic usage policy, conflict of interest, media policy, proper work environment, etc. It also contains the rules and penalties if an employee breaches or violates the code of conduct.
Employee wages: One of the most critical aspects of employee management is employee payroll. Effective payroll management is the responsibility of the company’s HR Department. This includes paying employees’ competitive salaries by adhering to government regulations. The Minimum Wage Act of 1948 sets a specific compensation as the minimum pay permitted by law for skilled and unskilled labourers. The Act requires that employees receive the “Basic” salary to meet their needs. Additionally, an employee is required to receive their rightful monthly salary payment on the agreed-upon date without any deductions under the Payment of Wages Act of 1936.
Leave policy: A leave policy is a document that specifies the guidelines for the various types of vacations an employee can take. A good leave policy should be in place at every company to provide a clear picture to the employees on the number of leaves they are entitled to in a year. These leaves include paid leave, sick leave, casual leave, maternity leave, and many more. Public holidays must also be included in the list of leaves. The HR policy should consist of explicit guidelines for wage reductions for late arrivals and half days, as well as provisions for unpaid leave. Under the Factories Act of 1948, employees are entitled to weekly paid holidays and compensation for any additional work performed outside of regular working hours.
To know more, also read: https://enspirehr.com/blogs/types-of-leaves-offered-by-companies-in-india/
Maternity and Paternity Leave Policy: According to the 2017 Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Act, every company with more than ten employees is required by law to offer maternity leave benefits to female employees. Benefits are available to any woman who has worked for the company for at least 80 days. The Act stipulates that a pregnant working woman is entitled to at least 26 weeks of paid leave for the first two children and 12 weeks of unpaid leave after that.
There is currently no law regarding paternity bills for employees of private companies. Employees of the central government are entitled to 15 days of paternity leave to care for their surviving spouse and child. The 2017 paternity benefits bill is still awaiting approval from the government.
Safety Policy: It is the duty of every organization to ensure safety in the workplace, and hence, clearly stated employee safety policies are a must. It is also essential to ensure that industry-specific safety policies are implemented. Accidental workplace injuries, injuries caused by negligence, and other types of damages must also be included in these policies. The main aim of this policy is to ensure that employees are fully informed and trained in safety procedures. In the event of an injury at work, employees should be aware of their rights and responsibilities.
Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment: Even though this policy is covered by the code of conduct, these policies need to be made specifically to address biases and issues that might be prevalent in the area where your company operates. Discrimination can take place in many forms based on age, colour, sex, caste, creed, or more. Every employee has the fundamental right to be treated equally, without any discrimination. These rights are granted to every citizen of the nation by Articles 14, 15, and 16. As a result, every business needs to develop a policy that outlaws all forms of discrimination and specifies the consequences of doing so.
Sexual harassment workplace policy: While enacting legislation, the Indian government has prioritized women’s workplace safety. In accordance with the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act of 2013, all companies with more than ten employees are required to establish an Internal Complaints Committee. All issues should be pursued vigorously, documented, and addressed as soon as possible. HR managers should organize sensitization programs and encourage communication to create a workplace culture that is fair and safe for all employees, regardless of gender.
Employee provident fund: Each employer is obligated to open an account in the employees’ provident fund for each employee. The Employee’s Provident Fund Act of 1947 guarantees employees post-retirement income. This is more like a security fund that gives employees various benefits like housing assistance, medical insurance, and a retirement pension. It is essential to keep in mind that businesses with more than ten workers are required to offer their employees benefits from the provident fund.
Adaptive Work Culture Policy: There’s been a significant shift in the way we work and thus influencing the culture. Working from home has changed the dynamics and therefore requires an adaptive work culture policy that provides better flexibility to employees to choose their preferred workplace. The work policy should have a proper framework that addresses the management of employees remotely or working from home. Even employees from different locations can seamlessly integrate into this framework.
Gratuity Policy: Companies adopt a gratuity policy to appreciate the contributions made by their employees for more than five years. Employees who are retiring or being laid off but have worked for five years or more are eligible for a one-time gratuity payment from the company. In addition, the 1972 Payment of Gratuity Act obligates businesses to provide employees with a gratuity.
Grievance Policy: A Grievance Redressal Committee must be established by any employer in India with more than 20 employees, according to section 9C of the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947. Depending on where your company operates, this policy may vary. There must be a clear way for employees to tell the right people about their problems. To ensure the safety of employees, it may be necessary to anonymize complaints in some instances.
Employment Termination policy: While HR policies are designed to retain employees, some employees invariably leave. As a result, the employer must ensure a proper exit policy outlining the procedures for an employee who is either terminated or dismissed or wishes to leave the company.
The exit policy helps the Human Resource Department to follow the proper procedures according to labour laws. Thus, the companies must ensure clear guidelines to collect feedback, conduct an exit interview, and ensure a seamless process.
Conclusion HR policies are a necessary framework that every business needs to run smoothly. The company and its employees are guided by these policies, which dictate how to work and conduct themselves to ensure a safe and secure workplace for all. At Enspire HR, we keep in mind that the purpose of these policies is to ensure everyone is on the same page and that the company’s objectives remain the main priority. Remember to keep your HR policies up to date in light of changes in your industry and new laws.