27 June Adopt, adapt and apply: The power of policies June 27, 2017 By Reef Admin Business practice, General 0 Workplace policies help guide employees about the systems and processes that make for a safe workplace. Here's how they can provide guidance about what is and is not acceptable behaviour. Policies are useful documents to rely upon when a dispute arises between an employer and employee. Where an employer can point to a policy that shows an employee ought to have known what their responsibilities were in relation to a disputed matter, the employer is likely to be in a much stronger position if that matter comes before a tribunal or court. Some employment laws require a policy to be in place and the best example of this is under work health and safety legislation. However, most real estate businesses will also have policies in place relating to matters not mandated by law. These policies will generally relate to an agency owner’s expectations about what constitutes an acceptable standard of behaviour. It’s essential that all policies are fully understood by both management and employees. Developing and implementing policies that deal with the workplace behaviour of employees and what their responsibilities are in relation to the employer and company property, are an integral part of good business practice. These policies are often found in an Employee Handbook or Policy and Procedure Manual, and tell employees what is expected of them and the consequences in the event of a breach. These policies can deal with things like dress standards, language, alcohol, drugs, confidentiality, harassment, bullying, fighting, and computer and internet usage. They can also be developed to inform employees about employment conditions, entitlements and benefits; for example, applying for leave, absenteeism and the use of company property (such as cars and phones). Unlike the terms contained in an employee’s contract of employment, company policies are more easily modified as the needs of the business change. Template policies If you want to develop a particular workplace policy or would like to review an existing policy, go to the REEF People Management System. The suite of template policies available via the system have been developed with your needs in mind and will contribute to your workplace values. You can simply adopt the template policies in full. Alternatively, if a policy doesn’t suit your particular circumstances or presents too great a compliance burden, you can modify it or simply not use it at all. Login to the REEF People Management here >>> Need help? If you’d like to discuss workplace policies, or you need help developing and implementing a particular policy that’s not available via the REEF People Management System, please call 1300 616 170 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. By Greg Paterson – REEF Membership Services Director Related Medical certificates and personal leave policies Can a personal leave policy insist that employees provide a medical certificate as proof of illness or injury? And if it does, is the policy compliant with the Fair Work Act 2009 and modern awards? A message from the CEO: Employment contracts A question REEF CEO Bryan Wilcox is often asked with whether workplace policies should be included in employment contracts. Here, he explains why it's not recommended. Guesswork, be gone! People Management System updates Members will benefit from the recent review and comprehensive update of the templates, policies, forms and other documents available via REEF's award-winning People Management System. Stamping out sexual harassment The last few years have seen a dramatic increase in the compensation awarded to victims of sexual harassment in the workplace – and there’s a clear link between the approach taken by courts and community standards. Wine me. Dine me. But don't 'Weinstein' me. Every week it seems another scandal is splashed across the front page of newspapers and you can't turn on the TV without hearing about a new claim against a big name. Here are some tips about how to keep romances between colleagues off the front page. Are you a real estate employer of choice? As an employer, you're on the look out for great employees. Likewise, employees are on the look out for a great employer. So what are they looking for? And do you fit the bill? Comments are closed.