If you look around your workplace today, it likely looks a lot different than it did a few years ago. The needs of your employees and business are always evolving, and whether that means you’re making small or big changes, it’s important that your company policies reflect these shifts.
HR policies help protect the rights and safety of everyone in the workplace. When communicated, applied, and enforced consistently, these policies can help defend your business against liability, set standards for all employees, and ensure fairness in how those standards are applied.
How do you know which policies you need to implement? It isn’t always easy to determine, and with legislation and legal policy requirements constantly changing, it can be just as challenging to keep them all updated. This is why it’s good practice to audit your company policies annually to keep up to date with the current needs of your employees and organization.
How strong HR policies can help your workplace
HR policies provide clear guidelines and expectations for employees to follow. They let employees know what conduct is acceptable or not. Strong HR policies help you stay legislatively compliant, uphold your obligations as an employer, and meet requirements specific to your particular workplace.
HR policies can cover a variety of areas, such as hours of work, overtime, vacation, performance evaluation, standards of behaviour, and progressive discipline. While some policies are required by law, there are many other optional policies that can help add structure and consistency to the workplace.
Policies aren’t meant to overwhelm employees with rules. At their core, HR policies help create a safe, fair, and healthy workplace environment. Consistent application of policies ensures that everyone is held to the same standards.
Must-have HR policies for 2024
The start of the year is a great time to assess your current policies and make sure you are compliant for the year ahead.
If you are a provincially regulated employer in Ontario, the Ontario government requires you have certain policies in place. There may also be policies that are legislatively required depending on the size of your organization, the nature of your work, and the industry you’re in. There are many other HR policies that, while not mandated, can help you create a healthy and happy workplace.
To help you get started, we put together a guide that includes a list of the top 15 essential HR policies Ontario employers need to stay compliant. Download our FREE Guide to Essential HR Policies! Here’s a peek at a few of the most important HR policies we recommend in our guide.
Workplace Violence and Harassment Policy
Every employee deserves a safe and respectful environment free from violence and harassment. To proactively address workplace violence and harassment, employers should set clear expectations of what is and is not appropriate and have good reporting mechanisms in place. Learn more about how to prevent workplace violence and harassment.
Accessible Employment Policy (AODA)
Employees of all abilities should be able to participate fully in the workplace. An accessibility policy helps identify and remove barriers and addresses the needs of those with different abilities. Learn more about accessibility and the duty to accommodate.
Disconnecting from Work Policy
With employees having a harder time balancing work and life, a right to disconnect policy sets expectations and creates a culture where your employees don’t feel guilty for disconnecting. Learn more about the benefits of disconnecting from work.
A free guide to essential HR policies
Download our FREE Guide to Essential HR Policies for the full list of 15 must-have policies! While this list is geared towards employers in Ontario, every employer across Canada can benefit from auditing their HR policies yearly and generally adhering to the recommendations compiled in this guide.
Have questions about policies specific to your jurisdiction? Contact one of our HR experts for Live HR Advice!
For policies that are always up to date, check out our HR Content library, where you get unlimited access to thousands of HR documents, templates, compliance management resources, and more. To make things even easier, check out our Policy Manual Wizard, an interactive software which compiles all the policies you need based on your answers to our questions. To learn more about these and other solutions that can support any HR activity, chat with a representative today!