A workplace policy and/or practice must be more than legally compliant. It must also recognize the practical realities of the particular workplace. This is one of our firm strengths.
Drafting a policy is intricate work, and the devil is always in the detail. Our approach is to ensure the policy meets our client’s operational objective and is legally compliance without overreaching.
Implementation is the next crucial step. Even the best written policy is of little significance if not implemented well. In our experience, a well-implemented policy or practice is:
- Relevant: Management and employees should understand how and why the policy or practice is relevant to and fits into their day-to-day responsibilities.
- Proportional: The impact on day-to-day responsibilities must be seen to be reasonable and rational, neither overreaching nor attempting to attain a “gold standard” that may not be necessary.
- Consistent: The policy or practice must be seen to be applied consistently and fairly so as not to lose credibility.
- Flexible: The policy or practice must be a living document, able to adapt and reflect the organization’s business realities as they may change from time to time
The following are examples of some of the policies we assist clients to draft and implement. They can be part of a policy handbook or stand-alone documents, depending on our client’s wishes and objectives
- Accessibility in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
- Discrimination and harassment
- Behavioural expectations
- Progressive discipline
- Attendance management
- Alcohol and drugs
- Workplace violence and harassment (per the Occupational Health and Safety Act)
- Social media
- Information technology and computer usage
- Document retention and destruction
As leaders in our field, we are regularly asked to speak about workplace policies and practices at leading employment and labour relations conferences, and often publish on this area of the law.