Alberta Workplace Policies
Policies are a valuable tool for helping employers to properly and efficiently regulate the company’s operations and relationships within the workplace.
It is a good practice for employers to require compliance with all company Policies as part of all offer letters and written contracts of employment.
It is essential that workplace policies comply with all applicable legislation and government regulation. Compliance can be assured by keeping apprised of changes to various statutes and regulations affecting the workplace and updating company policies accordingly.
An Effective Workplace Policy
- is a written document that clearly defines the matters addressed in the policy;
- states clearly who is bound by the policy and what is expected of those employees;
- provides clear, practical and fair mechanisms/procedures for achieving the policy’s goals;
- states clearly the consequences for breaching the policy;
- is made known to all employees, and is supported and reinforced through regular education and training;
- is consistently implemented and enforced regardless of the employee’s level within the organization;
- is regularly reviewed and assessed with a view to improving the policy; and
- complies with all applicable statutes and government regulation
Whether a given policy is enforceable is often the subject of disagreement between employers and their employees, particularly when the employment relationship comes to an end. The key to answering that question is to assess the degree to which the above criteria are met.
Common Reasons for a Workplace Policy Being Found Unenforceable
Some of the more common reasons for a policy being found unenforceable include: that the policy does not comply with current legislation; that the employee expected to be bound by the policy has not been made aware of it; and that the policy has not been consistently implemented and enforced.
Examples of Commonly Used Policies
- respectful workplace
- code of conduct
- conflict of interest
- email, internet and computer use
- drug and alcohol testing
- workplace impairment
- incentive compensation
- maternity and parental leave
- performance management
Our employment lawyers can draft new policies for employers or update old policies.
We can also advise both employers and employees on questions relating to compliance with existing policies.