As January comes to a close it is a great time to take stock of your employment practices and to create an annual plan for updating all policies and practices to ensure that they have incorporated any changes to the law that have occurred in the last year. Take the time to ensure that your contracts, policies and agreements are providing you with the protections that they were drafted to provide. Changes to the law may result in your current agreements not providing the protections that you intended and create a plan for reviewing and update your agreements.
Your annual human resources review plan should consider the following:
- Review of employment agreements – given the development of the law over the last year do your agreements as drafted continue to provide you with the protections that you are seeking?
- Review of your workplace bullying and harassment policy and investigation process to ensure that it is updated, communicated to employees and still satisfies your organization’s needs. Is it compliant with regulations and have any legislative changes been incorporated into your policy?
- Review of your progressive discipline policy, considering specifically whether the policy is written in a way that will help employees and their supervisors address performance issues. Does the policy provide the tools necessary to effect change? If not, is the policy written in a way that will support a termination without exposing you to significant costs?
- Review of your bonus plan. Do the terms of the plan still align with the goals and directions of the organization? Is the consequence of the plan as written what you intended, particularly with respect to liability upon end of employment?
- Review of your offer letter template to ensure that it incorporates the terms of employment that you intend and reflects the law as it has evolved.
- Review of your vacation policy to ensure that it is compliant with regulatory requirements.
- Review of your job protected leave requirements. Do your policies adequately address your statutory obligations?
- Review of your workplace policy manual. Do the policies say what you intend and do you have written policies for all important processes in your organization? Is the manual organized in a way that makes it useful to employees?
- Review of your remote work policy, if you have one. Does it comply with the statutory obligations imposed on employees and is it sufficient and appropriate for your organization?
- Review of your guidelines around alcohol consumption and safe transportation home from the holiday party and communication of the guidelines to organizers. The potential legal implications of hosting a holiday party are significant. Consider implementing guidelines if you haven’t already.
- Review of any developments in the law that result in potential enhanced liability or require further revision to policies and practices.
In the following months we will be providing helpful tips on completing this full review of your human resources policies and procedures.