How long since you’ve reviewed your company policies?
Stephen Booth and I recently conducted a workshop on ‘Employment Contracts and Policies’, and following on from that I thought it was worthwhile highlighting a few points to bear in mind when you’re preparing or updating your policies, in order to minimise the likelihood of them being interpreted as having contractual force.
- Specify at the beginning of your policy manual that the policies within it do not constitute contractual terms, and that they may be altered or updated at any time at the sole discretion of the employer
- Consider the value and necessity of every policy – don’t implement policies for everything! Having too many policies in a workplace is of little use and no benefit if they are not reviewed, understood and readily accessible to all employees
- Avoid terms which one would typically expect to see in an employment contract
- Avoid broad aspirational statements or commitments you can’t or may not honour
- Avoid expressing general goals or intentions or possible options as promises or statements – build in discretion.
If you need assistance drafting policies for your workplace, or if you’d like your current policies reviewed to make sure they’re in line with above points, please contact our Employment Law team in Parramatta and Norwest: