How often should you review your HR policies?

The foundation of any successful business is its people. Keeping your HR policies up to date will help to promote consistency, fairness amongst your employees and help create a more positive company culture.

You wouldn’t allow your products, your sales techniques or marketing channels to become so out of date. It’s just as important to make sure your HR policies are reviewed so they can serve your people effectively and mitigate some risks for your business.

Business growth

Your business is growing – which is great news! Perhaps you’ve taken on new staff, or even whole new teams. 

Any significant business growth requires a review of your HR policies. Will existing policies make sense with the new larger team? Will they ensure fairness across your organisation? Most importantly, will they help your business to achieve its goals?

Change in circumstances

Other changes in circumstance would also require a review of your HR policies and processes. HR policies ought to be a living document designed to get the best from your business, whether you’re restructuring, realigning your business goals or making other changes.

Changes in employment law

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that changes in employment law will require your company’s policies to be updated. You are duty bound to comply with the latest employment legislation, and to bring in the necessary changes in a timely manner. This gives you the opportunity to bring on board your team and ensure they are envisioned for the coming changes.

Moving office

You will need some common-sense changes to policies when moving from one space to another. But this is also an opportunity to assess which policies are working for your team’s success and which could be tweaked.

Flexible working

As many businesses will have discovered in 2020, as lockdown has forced staff teams to adopt remote or flexible working, their existing HR policies couldn’t always be applied to the new situation. 

Policies like attendance, timekeeping, flexi time and leave will all need to be reviewed to facilitate flexible working and help your business achieve its goals.

If you need help reviewing your policies, speak to our team for a free 30 minute consultation.

What happens after furlough?

The furlough scheme introduced during the 2020 lockdown was a lifeline to thousands of businesses and employees. But what is the process for re-introducing staff to the workplace as the furlough scheme comes to an end and employees get their feet firmly under their desks once again.

To help you stay up-to-date with all the latest guidance, here is a FAQ on what happens after furlough.

How much notice do I need to provide when reboarding furloughed staff?

If you’re bringing furloughed staff back on board, you will need to give them notice in writing. There is no statutory minimum notice period, but you should begin discussions with furloughed staff as soon as you’re able, to allow plenty of time for them to make adjustments to return to work.

These discussions should also include an opportunity for them to raise questions and concerns, and to talk through the practicalities of returning to work.

What is flexible furlough?

The flexible furlough scheme came into place at the beginning of July, and allows furloughed employees to return to work part time. Their employer is responsible for paying their wages for hours worked, and can claim the remaining part of their salary under the furlough scheme.

For example, if an employee is contracted for 30 hours per week, they could return from furlough and work 15 hours per week, and receive their full pay for these hours. They would remain ‘on furlough’ for the remaining 15 hours per week and receive 80% of their pay for these hours.

This can be a very beneficial option if your business is operating on reduced turnover due to the COVID lockdown, but there’s still plenty of work to do.

There are some conditions and things to consider. Download our free in-depth guide to find out all the details.

What will change in the workplace?

Regulations are constantly being updated in line with the latest scientific advice. It’s important that returning staff are given all the relevant information about changes already made to the work environment, and those planned for the coming weeks.

Be mindful of social distancing requirements and other health regulations. Of course, every organisation will be dealing with different changes, both in the way they work in person and virtually. Make sure you keep teams on board with all developments.

How do we adapt to the ‘new normal’?

As with any change at work, clear two-way communication with your team is vital in adapting to the ‘new normal’. Unlike those employees who have been working at home during this time, furloughed staff may face a steep learning curve as they adapt to remote meetings, Zoom calls, shared cloud drives and other tools the rest of us now take for granted.

Make time to listen and respond to concerns and requests for help. Make sure that any specific training you offered to staff who’ve been working remotely is also available to those returning from furlough.

If you’re welcoming employees back into a physical environment, ensure that it is safe for their return, thoroughly risk assessed, and that they have the training they require.

How do I create a level playing field for all employees?

It’s possible for tensions to arise when bringing together a team which combines furloughed staff with those who have been working throughout the lockdown.

As well as making space to hear and respond to employees, it’s vital to maintain clear, positive communication with all staff, to embrace approaches to engage your staff, and to keep a focus on the ‘big picture’ vision to motivate teams.

What next?

Get the full lowdown on how your business can thrive post-furlough, download our free pdf guide.