Companies Must Implement and Consistently Enforce Workplace Policies and Procedures.
Policies and procedures are like the foundation of a building, providing strength and stability for your organization. Employees must be treated fairly, and having written policies in the workplace helps to eliminate unfair treatment practices.
Effective policies dealing with Attendance Management, Progressive Discipline, Dishonesty and Theft, Social Media, Work Performance Standards and On-the-Job Behaviour can save thousands of dollars in unjust or wrongful dismissal costs. The Policies should clearly outline to the workers what will happen if they fail to abide by the workplace policies.
The three biggest mistakes employers make with new policies:
1 – They fail to provide the employees with the policies. Employers who terminate based on a policy infraction must ensure that the employee was provided with a copy of that policy. If you do not provide them with the policy manual, the employee may not actually be aware that the policy exists and you will not be able to enforce the discipline or the employee could sue for wrongful dismissal damages.
2 – They fail to have the employee sign off. If they do not sign the acknowledgement that they have read and received the manual, the employee can claim they are unaware of the policy and again you will not be able to enforce the discipline or termination and/or the employee could sue for wrongful dismissal damages.
3 – They fail to enforce the policies. If an employee breaks a rule (breaches the policy) you must discipline them according to the provisions in the policies. Regular enforcement of all policies, and of course documentation of this enforcement, will ensure that should you have an employee who consistently ignores these rules, there will be records to justify your actions when their employment is terminated.
Keeping accurate records ensures that you deal with the infractions in a consistent manner. Should the employee’s behaviour result in termination of employment, you will have a solid record of the reasons for termination if the employee challenges your decision. Courts in Canada have routinely upheld the termination rights of employees in cases where the employer’s enforcement of the policies is either non-existent or inconsistent.