Clearly defined HR policies are essential to any organization as they provide clarity and structure. Employees who experience role clarity are 53% more efficient and 27% more effective at work. There are different types of HR policies in India.
Various types of HR policies help establish a comprehensible understanding of expectations and standards. Typically, only around 50% of employees would “strongly agree” that they know what’s expected of them at work and policies help bring clarity.
Further, policies ensure the firm complies with local government regulations and provides a framework so leaders can make consistent decisions and ensure people are treated equitably.
What Are HR Policies?
HR policies are formal guidelines and standardized sets of rules that businesses put in place to better manage their workforce. They ensure consistency by outlining organizational obligations, disciplinary procedures, employee expectations, and acceptable behavioral standards.
Why Do Companies Need HR Policies?
HR policies can help lay down a proper code of conduct for a business. This ensures they’re protected from legal claims, maintain a safe and secure working environment, and foster a culture of inclusion, fairness, and trust.
Overall, it sets a foundation for the smooth functioning of an organization. Therefore, businesses should set up appropriate HR policies for their employees. To ensure that employment laws are properly followed, companies should provide an employee handbook outlining all important HR policies.
10 Various Types Of HR Policies
Let's discuss the list of HR policies and procedures in India.
1. Code of Conduct
What is it?
The code of conduct contains an organization's mission, vision, and ethics. It’s important to set the standards of behavior you expect from your employees to promote and maintain a positive working environment.
Policies help outline unacceptable behavior and educate employees on business values. This helps manage inappropriate conduct, if and when it arises.
Employee conduct policy states standards of professional and personal conduct that employees must strive to uphold at all times. It helps employees maintain an environment that’s conducive, safe, enjoyable, positive, productive, and free from discrimination and harassment.
A few examples of what falls under the code of conduct
- Attendance and punctuality: Employee attendance must be punctual and regular. If they need an absence, they must inform their manager in advance.
- Dress and appearance: The employees project a particular image to the clients. So, everyone must ensure their appearance is appropriate, clean, and neat at work.
- Personal behavior: Employees must act in the best interest of the company and undertake their duties in an ethical, conscientious, responsible, and professional manner.
- Use of facilities and equipment: When an employee uses company property, goods, intellectual property, or services, they must use it carefully.
2. Flexible Work Policy
What is it?
Especially after the pandemic, many businesses offer a flexible working culture. This means employees may work from home and sometimes even during the work hours they choose.
Since employees are away from the office, you need a strategy that includes adequate rules and frameworks to manage those who work remotely. This will set explicit instructions and clear expectations - the key to managing employees and performance.
The policy will capture everything from when, where, and how employees work. A remote work checklist is a handy way to practically implement a remote work policy.
Key things to keep in mind when implementing this policy:
- Agree upon specific hours and measurable outcomes before you begin the arrangement. It helps employees complete tasks and aids in monitoring progress and work done.
- Remote workers must maintain regular communication with team members via the preferred method of communication within your organization.
- Set up a system to measure and monitor the output of remote workers.
- Those away from the office must keep an open line of communication with other employees.
- Ensure you give remote workers the same opportunities to grow and develop as much as other staff within the organization.
- Actively promote a sense of belonging to the team.
- Set up team-building activities or social gatherings regularly to build camaraderie, boost engagement, and more.
3. Benefits Policy
What is it?
Employees are an organization's biggest asset. Gone are the days they are happy with only salary or pension. They want benefits like group health insurance, paid leaves, vacation time, ESOPs, and more. So from the get-go, setting up your benefits policy is extremely helpful.
When an employee knows what benefits the workplace offers, they can align themselves accordingly. With a policy in place, your workforce will know exactly what’s on offer, how to utilize it, and other aspects related to benefits.
In India, some benefits are mandatory like:
- Maternity leave
- Sick leaves
- Annual leave
- National and festival holidays
Other attractive benefits employees look forward to are:
- Flexible working schedule
- Wellness programs
- Group health insurance
- Educational and training programs
- Additional paid leave
- Subsidized transportation
Popular benefits of today
Speaking of benefits, one of the popular ones, especially after the pandemic, is the importance of health and wellness. With this in mind, employees want group health insurance and wellness programs.
The Harvard Business Review found that, on average, employers who invest in comprehensive group health insurance along with wellness and wellbeing initiatives saw a nearly 3 to 1 return on money invested.
In Gallup’s 2021 report, you can find some insightful information about factors that affect employee engagement, including wellbeing. Wellbeing is not just physical but includes several other aspects.
- Physical wellbeing - Having the energy to get things done
- Financial wellbeing - Sufficient resources and money management abilities
- Social wellbeing - Fulfilling relationships and friendships
- Community wellbeing - Satisfaction with where you live
- Career wellbeing - Level of enjoyment of work
Loop’s Group Health Insurance
A partner like Loop ensures that your employees get all-around protection through both group health insurance and health benefits.
We offer preventive care features like an in-house team of doctors to support your employees and loved ones like a family doctor.
Account managers help with anything you need and offer quick resolutions.
Do any queries come to your mind that need answering? Call our customer support team. They’re available around the clock to answer even the simplest of questions.
Our team of claim specialists is on top of things. Whether it’s documentation or support, our team is available 24X7 to help.
With Loop, both employees and HRs have had support from day one.
Some features that make life easier and healthier are:
- Easily book virtual consults
- Book the right lab test
- 24/7 chat availability with doctors
- Order medicines in a few taps
- Seek advice for any and all medical queries
- 24X7 Claims and customer support
- HR dashboard
- Enrollment portal
- High-engagement wellness activities
You have everything in one place to supercharge your workforce! ⚡
4. Anti-Harassment, Anti-Bullying, and Non-Discrimination Policy
What is it?
Did you know an employer can be held legally responsible for acts of discrimination, bullying, or harassment in their business?
In order to minimize this risk, the business must show they have taken all reasonable steps to prevent bullying, discrimination, or harassment from occurring based on race, religion, age, national origin, language, sex, sexual orientation, or mental or physical handicap.
This is almost impossible if you don’t have a comprehensive policy in writing.
Having a policy in place communicates clearly to employees what constitutes bullying, harassment, discrimination, and other forms of inappropriate behavior at work. You can ensure that your workplace remains safe for all employees by establishing policies that clearly prohibit such acts.
5. Leave Policy
What is it?
A leave policy lays down rules and regulations regarding the different leaves your workforce can avail, such as maternity, sick leave, vacation leave, etc.
A leave policy gives employees a clear picture of how many vacation days they are entitled to each year. For example, a correct division of leaves in HR policies should include paid leaves, sick, or casual leaves.
It is also necessary to note public holidays in the list of leaves. Besides the number of days, it also consists of specifics like eligibility, encashment, etc.
Apart from public holidays, companies have the following types of leaves:
- Compensatory off
- Paternity leave
- Maternity leave
- Leave without pay
- Casual leave
- Sick leave
- Earned leave or privileged leave
6. Sexual Harassment Policy
What is it?
With the changes in the modern workplace, it’s crucial to inform and educate your employees about sexual harassment at work. You can safeguard your company by communicating and putting guidelines in place about inappropriate, unwelcome, or unwanted sexual actions or comments.
Companies must establish a proper list of HR policies in an organization and effectively convey them to all employees to ensure safety.
To establish an organizational culture that provides a fair and safe working environment for all workers, HR officials should arrange workshops or sensitization programs and encourage communication.
A company is required to take or implement decisive rules, human resource policies, and regulations to create a safe work ecosystem for women in the workplace. This is not just required by law, but it should be a moral necessity for the company.
What can you do?
In 2013, the Government of India introduced the POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment) Act for the workplace. It’s a major step towards preventing any form of misconduct towards women based on gender in the workplace.
POSH Act mandates that an organization should implement the following steps to stay compliant.
7. Safety and Health Policy
What is it?
One of the most important HR policies that your organization needs to have is the one surrounding health and safety.
It shows that your organization is committed to the health, safety, and welfare at work of its employees; minimizing the risk of work-related injuries and ill health, and complying with applicable health and safety legal requirements.
Read to know more: Why Is Health And Safety Important In The Workplace?
A policy clearly describes emergency and safety protocols and what the employer intends to do about commitment and support for health and safety in the workplace.
The policy must outline exactly what employees are expected to do in the case of all normal emergencies and be specific about who is responsible for maintaining health and safety.
This helps ensure that safety is an important part of doing business. For instance, if a workplace has the presence of certain chemicals, the health and safety policy must have a clause on a hazard communication program.
8. Grievance Policy
What is it?
A grievance is any employment-related behavior or decision that affects you unjustly or unfairly and has to do with anything really, like bullying, harassment, or discrimination.
When an employee has an issue, they must know who to turn to. The grievance policy clearly outlines the steps to follow when someone is looking to file a complaint and what the company must do when they receive a complaint. This way, grievances are addressed confidentially and quickly.
Allowing employees to voice their concerns, listening to them, and acting on them is an excellent way to increase motivation and engagement around the office.
9. Social Media Policy
What is it?
Whether your business is on social media or not, your employees sure are. And they list your organization’s name on their public profiles. The way your workforce interacts and posts on social media can impact your company’s reputation.
The social media policy outlines what form of communication is appropriate for an employee to use on a public platform where they represent your company. This protects your company's reputation, both online and offline.
Of course, you cannot limit what they say, but you can mention not to use your business’s name alongside certain types of information or comments. In case the rules are broken, do include the disciplinary action you will take.
10. Disciplinary Policy
What is it?
During the lifecycle of a business, sometimes you may face a situation where employees falter. It can be a disagreement with team members or missing a deadline. Either way, you must know what action to take.
A disciplinary policy helps identify incidents that violate the company policy and puts a standard procedure in place to handle such instances. This way, whatever the outcome, it’s fair and consistent across the organization.
What behavior constitutes disciplinary action at work?
- Attendance issue
- Inappropriate behavior toward clients or coworkers
- Dress code violation
- Illegal behavior
- Harassment or violence toward coworkers
- Poor performance
Human resources professionals often play a significant role in developing and formalizing company policies and procedures.
HR professionals usually have more knowledge of HR laws and ethical practices as well as are present to hold people accountable. Thus, in many cases, managers work to develop policies and procedures with HR department input.
By no means is this exhaustive. This guide will help you get things started. Based on several factors like your employee needs, the size of your company, government rules, and regulations, industry-related laws, etc. you must amend and customize the above-mentioned examples of HR policies to meet your specific needs.
Don’t forget to review, revise or update policies regularly to ensure they continue to comply with government mandates and the needs of the organization.
We hope you will find this list of HR policies in India to be useful. Don’t forget to check out our other resources for more insightful information.