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Employsure explains why employers should regularly review contracts and handbooks.

Employsure explains why employers should regularly review contracts and handbooks. (Last Updated On: October 16, 2018)

Employers often believe that once they implement employee contracts and handbooks into their business, they do not need to regularly review or update them. However, Employsure knows that as an employer, it is important to ensure you reflect any change in your business practices.

If you make any amendments to an employee’s role or entitlements, such as an increase in wage, or the allowance of overtime, it is essential the employee’s contract is updated before these changes come into play. This similarly applies to employee handbooks, if you amend workplace policies and procedures.

When reviewing your employee contracts, it is important to consider any changes to the following:

  • legislation relating to various employment conditions, such as leave and rates of pay
  • oral or verbal arrangements
  • customs and practices in your workplace
  • implied terms of the contract (these may exist in order to make the contract effective)
  • professional practice rules, such as medical ethics, which can be specific to some workplaces

Employment related policies and procedures are essential as they clearly outline the expectations of staff. Such policies and procedures are required to be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure they reflect your current workplace practices. Each business will have their individual requirements when it comes to setting expectations, however, there are some core policies and procedures all businesses should implement into their workplace. These include social media, bullying and harassment, and code of conduct policies.

Social media.

It can be a challenge to manage staff in regards to social media usage, however, it is important to communicate your expectations. Ultimately, any work related issue or material that could be connected to the employer, and adversely affect the employer or any person associated with the business, must not be placed on any social media platform. It is also recommended to prohibit the use of social media during work time. In the event that you have staff who update the businesses social pages, set up an approval process and have it in writing to ensure all the content listed is appropriate and in the best interests of your business.

Bullying and harassment.

Bullying and harassment is another area that cannot be overlooked. Statistics show many employees claim to have experienced inappropriate behaviour within the workplace, therefore it is imperative to have a policy in place that is communicated to all staff. The policy should include:

• a statement recognising the importance of providing a safe and harmonious workplace

• a definition and examples of behaviour which would constitute bullying

• a definition and examples of behaviour which would constitute harassment

• what will happen if an informal or formal grievance is raised

• acknowledging that no employee will be adversely affected or victimised by raising any form of complaint

Code of conduct.

A code of conduct policy outlines the general behavioural standards expected of all employees at work. A code of conduct policy should include specific requirements relating to the employee’s:

• attendance
• professional conduct
• performance
• flexibility of hours of work
• confidentiality
• conflict of interest
• company property

Generally, employees are provided with an employment contract and handbook at the commencement of their employment, which is then not reviewed for several years, or until a significant change in their position has occurred.

It is important to note that where changes to an employment contract are required, both parties (the employee and employer) must mutually agree on such changes.

If you have any questions relating to employee contracts, or policies and procedures for your workplace, contact Employsure on 1300 651 415. Our team of specialists can answer any questions you have to ensure your peace of mind, so call us today.

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