PKF Francis Aickin has an ongoing commitment to an open team culture leading to a productive, successful workplace. Consequently, they attended a “Managing Workplace Policies” webinar, which had many points worth sharing.

Why is it important to have workplace policies and procedures?

Policies work alongside employment agreements to ensure the employer and employee are clear on expectations and obligations of the employment relationship.  Policies inform staff what is expected from them and what they can expect from their employer.

It is important to have clear and consistent workplace policies and procedures.  They need to be in plain English, simple to understand, match workplace values and culture and be consistent with the employment agreement.

Is the policy fair and reasonable?

Businesses should review policies and procedures at least annually to check they are current – perhaps there have been regulatory changes, such as to parental leave or health and safety?  Procedures should explain how things are done and be linked to a policy.

Policies shouldn’t just be discussed as part of recruitment and induction processes.  Policies need to be easily accessible – perhaps have copies in the staff room.  Ensure staff understand policy implications during team meetings.

Employers can implement policy without agreement, but it is worthwhile to consider consulting with staff when writing new or updating existing policies – employers are more likely to get buy in and employees have a better understanding.  However – do what is best for the business.

Essential policies are Health and Safety, Employee Wellbeing, Drug and Alcohol, Code of Conduct and Leave and Holidays.

  • An Employee Wellbeing policy should consider emotional, physical, social, career and financial wellbeing. A sound wellbeing policy should reduce stress in the workplace and lead to better staff happiness and engagement.
  • The Leave and Holiday policy should include managing sick leave, parental leave, leave without pay, long service leave and public holidays.

Other useful policies could include Study Leave, Flexible Working Hours, Privacy and Confidentiality, Dress and Appearance, Social Media and Use of Technology.

Well written policies outline benefits to staff, save time and money and help build great relationships with staff. They contribute to employer compliance obligations and reduce misunderstandings that could lead to disputes.

Business.govt.nz and Employment NZ have launched the Workplace Policy Builder to help

tailor effective policies to your business – https://wpb.business.govt.nz/workplacepolicybuilder/startscreen/

​The tool is a guide to create policies tailored to your business and staffing needs.