HR policies are the basic ground rules, to be taken in to account in handling the employees, for the smooth functioning of any organization. This article will help you to formulate, the basic HR policies for your organization and will act as a checklist to prevent you from missing out the important factors to consider, while framing the policies.
Every startup company cannot spend its valuable time in framing HR policies, while trying to stabilize its position in the market and creating strategies for revenue improvement. But it’s a legal necessity that every organization should put its HR policies in black and white and each employee of the organization must be communicated clearly about those policies. So, rather than spending the invaluable time in framing new policies, it would be a blessing to make minor changes to the pre-defined HR policies and personalize them accordingly. These policies would preempt the possible situations leading to a complication between the management and the employee.
So the obligatory points, around which, your HR policies should be framed are,
Equity in HR policies:
The employment opportunities must not be influenced by an individual’s race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age disability, etc. The various employment decisions including recruitment, hiring, promotion, training, compensation, benefits, transfer, discipline and discharge should not be biased by any of the afore mentioned points.
Classification of employees is done according to the hours worked and the expected duration of the job. This leaves the employees to be classified broadly into three categories namely, full-time, part time & temporary employees. The importance of such classifications is their effect on eligibility for benefits such as health insurance and paid time off.
Workdays & Payday:
Workday is the period of time, in which the employee works. It also relates to day-offs and holidays. These details must be communicated clearly to the employee prior to the completion of hiring process. Payday is the day in which the employee receives his/her paycheck. Payday may be weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.
The extra hours an employee works more than the normal work hours in a week (which is usually 40 hours) are considered as overtime. Commonly the employees receive an overtime pay of one and a half times, their regular rates of pay. However, this does not apply to hours worked on weekends and holidays, unless it exceeds the usual work hours in a week.
Break and meal period are intended to give an employee a chance to renew attention and energy after working for an extensive period. Usually the employees are provided an unpaid meal period of no less than 30 minutes for all shifts of more than seven hours.
Payroll deductions are the amounts withheld from an employee’s wages. Payroll Deduction Policy should include a detailed description of all the deductions including what the deduction is for and the percentage amount being deducted from the employee. Deductions can be broadly classified into two types, namely Mandatory deductions (Professions tax, TDS, Provident Fund, ESI etc,.) and Voluntary deductions (Insurance policies, personal provident funds, parking fees etc.,).
Vacation or Annual leave benefits are provided for the rest and relaxation of the regular employee and are necessary for effective work. Generally the employers are legally obligated to provide certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave each year. The employees working for less than a year, usually does not qualify for vacation.
Evaluation or Appraisal of employee performance can be done either annually or intermediately with respect to the job description and standards of evaluation. Evaluation of employee will aid in recognition of excellence and encourage individual improvement when needed. These evaluation methods and durations must be conveyed to the employee well before the process of hiring.
Training & Development:
Employee training and development should address both organizational needs and individual needs and reflect the organization’s overall philosophy on learning. When establishing an employee development policy you need to consider both the financial and human resource capacity of your organization. The two types of trainings are, On-the-job (informal) and Formal training programs.
There are two ways to terminate employment: voluntary & involuntary. Voluntary terminations include resignations, retirement, and failure to return from leave or completion of contract. Involuntary terminations include layoffs and disciplinary action. The circumstances surrounding the termination, however, may affect your entitlement to payment for unused vacation time.
Without a neatly framed and communicated Human Resource policy, the organization will be at a disadvantage, if at all a situation arises wherein an employee takes the problem to the court. Also, organizations have to give as much thought to the ethical content of their policies as they do to make widely known and enforcing them.