With the introduction of the Employment Act on 6 April, organisations will be required to effectively communicate the procedures for dealing with employee requests for flexitime. Here, Nathan Millard, solicitor at PolicyMatter, provides a plan of how to draw up a policy to ensure corporate compliance
1. Establishing policy requirements
Any policy issued by an organisation should be compatible with - and a reflection of - all applicable laws, codes of practice, regulatory requirements and best practice. The final decision, however, on what goes into the policy must be a matter of personal and commercial judgement. Despite a complex legal backdrop, a policy that sets out to be unnecessarily comprehensive will fail as a usable document.
2. Drafting policies
It is vital that policy is drafted in a way that reflects the culture (or desired cultural change) within an organisation. Above all, the writer should strive to use plain English at all times and shy away from ‘legalese’ or unnecessary jargon. A policy needs to be capable of being understood by all who are affected by it and should be unambiguous.
3. Policy deployment
In a minority of policies, a passive approach, such as posting a policy on the intranet, is acceptable. However, for many policies, it is imperative the organisation ‘knows’ the policy has been deployed to all relevant parties, and that it can prove employees have understood what is required of them. This can only really be done if the policy is actively ‘pushed’ to employees, requiring no effort on their part, but also offering no way of ignoring the policy.
4. Testing understanding and affirming acceptance
For polices that are critical to corporate compliance, the organisation needs to be in a position to track the penetration of the policy. This means both collating evidence that individual employees have received the policy, and ensuring they actually understood what they have signed-up to. Testing employee understanding is traditionally extremely labour-intensive and, thus, often conveniently ignored.
5. Auditing and reporting
Finally, those charged with deploying policy need to be in a posi