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Employers are bound by law to produce and distribute certain policies and procedures to their employees. In addition, there are a host of other policies and procedures for which it is advised that an employer has them in place – while there is no legal requirement that an employer does so, the existence of these advisory policies can be looked upon favourably by an Employment Tribunal should an employee decide to make a claim in the futures.

Mandatory policies and procedures

Mandatory policies are those that are required by statute – it is unlawful for an employer to run a business without them.

Health and safety

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires an employer who employs five or more workers to procure a written health and safety policy. This policy must outline the person responsible for carrying out risk assessments, for fire and electrical safety and the issuing of a workplace manual. The policy should adhere to the 1974 Act and regulations that have come into force since “so far as is reasonably practicable”. It is up to the employer to ensure that the policy facilitates ongoing training for employees and management.

Terms and conditions of employment

The Employment Rights Act 1996 requires that employers provide a written copy of the terms and conditions of their employment contract on demand. This should include any process for grievances. The statement should include:

  • The date that tenure is expected to begin
  • Rates and frequency of pay
  • Notice periods for dismissal or for leaving a position
  • Holiday pay
  • Sick pay entitlement
  • Pensions entitlement

Non-mandatory policies

An employer is not breaking the law if they fail to have these policies and procedures in place, but it can leave them at risk should an employee make a claim at an Employment Tribunal. This can result in penalties over and above the sums awarded to an employee by way of compensation should the claim succeed.

Equal opportunities policy

It is recommended that employers have policies in place that cover discrimination at work based on ‘protected characteristics. This includes race, age, gender, religion and sexual orientation.

Disciplinary procedures

Employers should have a clear procedure that will protect them against claims that they have acted unreasonably in sanctioning or dismissing an employee.

Data protection

Employers should have in place a data protection and data security policy dealing with how confidential information is stored and to satisfy obligations set out in the Data Protection Act 2018.

Contact our Policies and Procedures Solicitors

The employment solicitors at Wilford Smith can provide clear, reliable legal advice for employers when it comes to drafting and implementing policies and procedures in the workplace. Our lawyers will work closely with you to ensure that policies and procedures are appropriately tailored to the size and nature of your business and are entirely up to date and reflective of current legislation. We can support you to review existing policies and procedures and advise on any amendments that may be necessary.

Whatever the nature of your business, speak to the employment team at Wilford Smith today. Call us on 01709 828 044 or complete our online contact form and we will get back to you


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