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HR Policies & Procedures

Driving fairness and equity in the process

HR policies and procedures provide written guidance on how to handle a range of employment issues, both consistently and transparently.

HR policies and procedures usually include a description of principles, rights and responsibilities for managers and employees, setting out the organisation’s expectations clearly.  However, no matter how well any policy is written, it’s their effective communication and implementation that’s crucial in ensuring their effectiveness.  This will often involve training line managers on both the policy content and supporting soft skills. 

Some policies are required to comply with legal requirements but even where this isn’t the case, employers often find it helpful to have a policy in place to provide clear guidance that reflects the legal framework for handling the issue in question and it also helps employees to be clear about the organisation’s stance on a particular subject.  

Organisations introduce or review specific HR policies for a range of reasons including: 

  • To reflect and comply with existing or new legislation and case law 
  • To support business strategy 
  • To follow the latest developments in effective people management 
  • To deal with internal change 
  • To develop a more formal and consistent approach that will meet their needs as they grow 


What People Want To Know

Do I have to have HR Policies and Procedures?

There are only 3 HR Policies that UK law requires:

  1. Health & Safety (if you have more than five employees)
  2. Disciplinary and Dismissal
  3. Grievance

Are there any other Policies I need to consider?

Equal Opportunities (recommended in the Equality Act 2010 Code of Practice), Personal Data, Time Off and Company Ethics are some of the key areas where a policy would be beneficial.

Do staff have to sign to confirm they have read and understood the Policies?

Some organisations ask their staff to do this but it’s not mandatory. You may wish to focus on training, communication and raising awareness of your policy requirements, rather than a tick box approach.

What happens if we have a policy but don’t follow it?

Policies are there to be followed by all. Employees not complying may face disciplinary action. An employer who dismisses an employee without following the disciplinary procedure, for example, may face a finding of unfair dismissal at an Employment Tribunal.

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