Workplace Law Blog
Knowledge Centre

Workplace Policy Manuals

September 14, 2021

A comprehensive employee policy manual is an excellent tool for onboarding, a great reference source for existing employees, and can provide you with convenient coaching materials.  But your policy manual will only provide these benefits if it is comprehensive and well written.  Your policy manual can provide information related to your workplace’s history, mission, and values and can provide guidance on various policies, procedures and benefits.  Having all of this information in one place can lessen the number of questions that your HR team has to deal with, can make employees feel more part of the organization, and ultimately can also provide protection for the employer in the event of discrimination or bullying and harassment complaints.  It is a document that should be reviewed annually to ensure that it contains policies that remain relevant to your organization, that it has all the policies that your company needs and that the policies are compliant with Employment Standards Legislation and changes to the law. 

When reviewing your employee policy manual, a good starting point is to do a general review to ensure that the policies remain relevant for your workplace.  Your policy manual should be tailored to the specifics of your workplace and should contain only policies that are necessary to your workplace.  A good second step is to ensure that your policy manual has covered off all necessary areas.  Are there holes in your manual that should be filled with new policies?  Some policies that you should consider having in your manual include the following:

  • Code of conduct including potentially a dress code
  • Bullying and harassment policy including a clear policy relating to reporting of concerns
  • Remote work policy
  • Communications policy
  • Internet use policy
  • Non-discrimination policy
  • Leave policy
  • Drug and alcohol policy
  • Overtime policy

Ensure that all of your policies are compliant with regulatory requirements and be mindful that regulatory requirements often change.  An example of this would be your leave policy.  Ensure that your leave policy at a minimum satisfies the requires of the Employment Standards Act.  Those requirements changed with the onset of the pandemic.  Another example would be your bullying and harassment policy.  It must satisfy the requirements set out by WorkSafe or you will be found to be in contravention of their requirements.

If changes are incorporated into your workplace policy manual it is a great time to remind existing employees of the existence of the manual.  Ask that they review the manual at the time that changes are incorporated and have all employees sign to indicate that they are aware of the policies.

An annual review of your employee policy manual is a proactive step that you can take to decrease the potential of claims, increase employee engagement and streamline your HR processes.

This update was authored by Harper Grey lawyer, Rose Keith, QC. Have questions regarding the topic discussed? Contact Rose at r[email protected] or anyone else listed on the authors page.

Expertise

Important Notice: The information contained in this Article is intended for general information purposes only and does not create a lawyer-client relationship. It is not intended as legal advice from Harper Grey LLP or the individual author(s), nor intended as a substitute for legal advice on any specific subject matter. Detailed legal counsel should be sought prior to undertaking any legal matter. The information contained in this Article is current to the last update and may change. Last Update: September 14, 2021.

©Harper Grey LLP 2021

 

Related

Prentice Durbin, Rose Keith, KC, and W. Sean Taylor to attend TAG Alliances Spring 2024 International Conference
Prentice Durbin, Rose Keith, KC, and W. Sean Taylor to attend TAG Alliances Spring 2024 International Conference
Lesley Russel presents to group of investment planners on wills and estates
Lesley Russel presents to group of investment planners on wills and estates Lesley Russel presents to group of investment planners on wills and estates
The Consequences of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
The Consequences of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace The Consequences of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Harper Grey shortlisted as Canadian Insurance Law Firm of the Year by Benchmark Canada 2024
Harper Grey shortlisted as Canadian Insurance Law Firm of the Year by Benchmark Canada 2024
Norm Streu co-authors article published by Business in Vancouver discussing new labour legislation in Canada
Norm Streu co-authors article published by Business in Vancouver discussing new labour legislation in Canada Norm Streu co-authors article published by Business in Vancouver discussing new labour legislation in Canada
Kim Jakeman, KC shortlisted as Canadian Health Law/Medical Litigator of the Year by Benchmark Canada 2024
Kim Jakeman, KC shortlisted as Canadian Health Law/Medical Litigator of the Year by Benchmark Canada 2024 Kim Jakeman, KC shortlisted as Canadian Health Law/Medical Litigator of the Year by Benchmark Canada 2024
Harper Grey shortlisted as Canadian Health Law/Medical Firm of the Year by Benchmark Canada 2024
Harper Grey shortlisted as Canadian Health Law/Medical Firm of the Year by Benchmark Canada 2024
Rose Keith, KC to present at The Advocates’ Society’s education program: Navigating Interprovincial Personal Injury Disputes
Rose Keith, KC to present at The Advocates’ Society’s education program: Navigating Interprovincial Personal Injury Disputes Rose Keith, KC to present at The Advocates’ Society’s education program: Navigating Interprovincial Personal Injury Disputes
Harper Grey shortlisted as Canadian Construction Law Firm of the Year by Benchmark Canada 2024
Harper Grey shortlisted as Canadian Construction Law Firm of the Year by Benchmark Canada 2024
Monique Sever to participate in International Legal Technology Association’s Webinar titled “What is Copilot and Why is Information Governance in Copilot Important?”
Monique Sever to participate in International Legal Technology Association’s Webinar titled “What is Copilot and Why is Information Governance in Copilot Important?” Monique Sever to participate in International Legal Technology Association’s Webinar titled “What is Copilot and Why is Information Governance in Copilot Important?”
Canada’s Modern Slavery Act
Canada’s Modern Slavery Act Canada’s Modern Slavery Act
Brett Weninger interviewed by Canadian HRReporter for article titled “Can you dismiss an employee on medical leave?”
Brett Weninger interviewed by Canadian HRReporter for article titled “Can you dismiss an employee on medical leave?” Brett Weninger interviewed by Canadian HRReporter for article titled “Can you dismiss an employee on medical leave?”
Rose Keith, KC publishes Employment Update Column for Spring 2024 Issue of The Verdict
Rose Keith, KC publishes Employment Update Column for Spring 2024 Issue of The Verdict Rose Keith, KC publishes Employment Update Column for Spring 2024 Issue of The Verdict
Harper Grey shortlisted for five Benchmark Canada 2024 Awards
Harper Grey shortlisted for five Benchmark Canada 2024 Awards Harper Grey shortlisted for five Benchmark Canada 2024 Awards Harper Grey shortlisted for five Benchmark Canada 2024 Awards
Michael Robinson guest lectures at Langara College
Michael Robinson guest lectures at Langara College Michael Robinson guest lectures at Langara College
arrow icon

Subscribe