HR policies set expectations and guidelines for employer-employee relationships. These policies are used to create acceptable company norms for many areas that affect the business including employee work schedules, employee behavior during and outside of work hours, health and safety measures, compliance with federal, state and local employment laws, conflict resolution and disciplinary procedures. Written HR policies that follow employer laws are an important tool to preventing employment lawsuits and disgruntled employees.
In today’s workplace, employers must take into account modern realities like the prolific use of the internet for communication and, of course, Covid-19.
7 Must-Have HR Policies for Today’s Workplace
Remote worker policy
Remote work has exploded because of Covid-19 and it’s likely that a bigger percentage of the workforce will stay remote even after we get the pandemic under control. Every business that has remote workers should have a remote worker policy that at a minimum identifies who qualifies, how their work will be monitored and if there are any limitations.
Use your own device policy
Employees often use their own smartphones to answer company emails and communicate with your clients. In some cases, they may even use their own PCs when they work from home. Creating a policy that sets minimum standards for security features and under what circumstances you will monitor personal devices is a good idea.
Social media policy
Businesses want to protect their reputations and that means setting guidelines about what isn’t appropriate for employees to post on their private and company social media accounts. Any rules created, however, must pass muster with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Sick leave policy
There is no Hawaii law that forces private employers to provide their employees with paid or unpaid sick leave, though many employers do provide it as an employee benefit. Businesses should clearly explain their policy and any requirements around using it. During the pandemic, employers must follow state laws for COVID leave. For example, in Hawaii, employees may be eligible to take family leave under the Hawaii Family Leave Law (HFLL) if they need to care for a family member who is ill or quarantined because of COVID-19.
Pandemic safety policy
As we are all painfully aware, we are currently dealing with a pandemic. Companies should have a clear policy with procedures in place for how they will handle it if an employee is exposed to or tests positive for Covid-19. Employee privacy laws must be taken into consideration when deciding how the information will be communicated internally and to the public. Keeping employees safe must also be a high priority.
Sexual harassment policy
Hawaii state law prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment is defined as “unwanted sexual advances or other unwanted or offensive visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” It is very important for businesses to have a current sexual harassment policy and to communicate that the business has zero-tolerance for inappropriate sexual comments or actions.
Drug and alcohol policy
Businesses can create a drug and alcohol policy that lists prohibited substances, the testing procedures they have in place and consequences for testing positive. While Hawaii businesses are entitled to prohibit and test for marijuana, an exemption may need to be made for employees that have state-issued medical marijuana cards. Employers should also take into account the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when drafting their policy.
Your business size and industry will affect the exact HR policies you need to include in your employee manual but these policies are a must for many businesses.
Partnering with Makai HR
Need help with HR tasks? We’ve got you covered through HR outsourcing! When you partner with Makai HR you can get on with the business you are trying to grow while we take care of your employee needs from payroll to taxes, health insurance/benefits and worker’s compensation. You also gain peace of mind that you are in compliance with all of Hawaii’s employer laws (if you’ve ever looked you know that the list is very long). When choosing a PEO to partner with, there are many things to consider including cost, services and technology solutions.
With the cost of doing business in Hawaii at record highs, we know how important it is to keep labor costs in line with revenue. Our plans are priced competitively and include value-added services like time-in/time-out systems. Our three tiers of PEO service plans are tailored to the size of your business and specific needs. We offer a 100% paperless solution which means that your employees can manage their needs through a computer, tablet or phone. We can truly improve your employees work benefits while freeing you up to run your business.
What are you waiting for? Companies that partner with a PEO benefit from 7-9% faster growth, 10-14% lower employee turnover; and they are 50% less likely to go out of business. Contact us today to get started!