The term 'Company Policies' refers to a set of documents that provide guidance for employees and managers on how to handle a range of workplace and employment situations. They can include what the employer expects from employees, what you can and can't do at work, and your rights as an employee of the company.
Where will I find the Company Policies?
When you start work you should be given the Company Policies to read; this is often quite a long document and although it can seem like a lot to take in, it is really important you read this carefully and understand it.
When you sign your contract, you are also agreeing to the Company Policies, so it is important you have read this beforehand and know exactly what you are agreeing to.
Human Resources (HR) look after all employment related issues including recruitment, dismissal, management of employees, employee health and welfare and any changes in staff departments or organisational structure. Company Policies, and any other paperwork you are given when you start a job, are often developed, maintained and kept with the HR Department, so if you have any questions or concerns, you should speak to your line manager or HR.
What do Company Policies include?
All companies will have slightly different policies depending on the nature of their business, how they would like employees to behave and what they feel they can reasonably offer employees. Some policies are at the discretion of the company, such as the number of days of annual leave an employee gets, while others may be guided by the law, for example Health & Safety. We have explained some of the key things you might find in your Company Policies documents, but if you need any help understanding these, please speak to your line manager or Employment Coordinator.
Code of Conduct
As an employee of an organisation, you will need to act a certain way. A Code of Conduct indicates what conduct or actions are deemed as unacceptable, such as taking bribes, disclosing confidential information, wearing unsuitable clothing or smoking on site.
Equal Opportunity Policy
This is a standard policy which sets out an organisation's agreement and aspiration to treat all employees fairly.
Depending on the type of contract you have signed, you may be entitled to a certain number of days to take as annual leave, or holiday, during the year. Company Policies also cover situations where you may need to take different forms of leave, such as:
- Compassionate Leave: This relates to leave surrounding the death of a relative and is at the discretion of the employer.
- Sick Leave: This relates to time taken off work when unwell. Not all employers are the same in regards to how long they will pay employees for sick leave.
- Maternity/Paternity Leave: This is leave for mothers and fathers related to the birth of a child
- Adoption Leave: This relates to leave given surrounding the adoption of a child
Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures
These refer to how you should behave in work and any action your employer may take if you do not stick to these policies. They also outline your rights as an employee should you wish to raise any concerns about anything related to your job role, another staff member or your workplace.
Health and Safety
The company's policy to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all its staff and customers.
This policy is to protect a company, its employees and customers from being exposed to risk due to the comments of its employees on social media.
You should be given a copy of the Company Policies for your own records - make sure you keep this safe so you can refer to it if anything comes up during your employment and you need reminding on the policies that are in place. If there are any changes to Company Policies during your time at an organisation, you should be informed of this.
If you have any questions about your Company Policies, you can speak to your line manager, HR Department or your Employment Coordinator for further information.