Clarity saves hassle
Make sure you read them
Employee policies and procedures won’t normally be part of your contract. However if you don’t follow them it may lead to disciplinary action. For example there are likley to be rules about driving, alcohol and druges, computer use and harassment. If it’s a serious matter or there are repeated breaches of these employee policies you could be dismissed.
Employee Polices can be helpful
Some employee polices are there to help you for example an equal opportunities policy, or policies about data protection or stress. They give you details of your rights and what to do if you have a problem with your employer or other employees. Therefore it is important to read and undestand these policies. Typically they will be in a Staff Handbook and not part of your contract. This makes it easier to update them. Others policies will given to you individually. For example if they relate to health and safety rules for a particular job you do.
When employees and employers know where they stand on issues there is far less room for dispute. This makes the working relationship easier..
Discipline and grievance
You should be given a written disciplinary and grievance policy even if there are no other policies. These employee policies should conform with the ACAS code on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures
. If you have a dispute with your employer or a grievance you both need to follow the procedure. A good clear procedure can help clear problems up quickly and to everyone’s satisfaction.
If you make a claim to an Employment Tribunal it will expect you to have followed the procedures includng for example putting in an appeal. Even if you win your case if you don’t follow the procedure it can affect how much compensation you get.
Kirsten Moon– Employment Law Solicitor – Partner