Developing human resource policies can be a long and complicated process. We’ve created this guide with the aim of helping you with the creation of legal and key policies in Human Resources.

What Are Human Resource Policies & Why Are They Important?

Simply put, HR policies are the written agreements between an employer and their employees. Some are required by law and others are optional but equally as important. With a professionally written policy, it is clear to both employee and employer what each others rights and responsibilities are. This can create a better culture for your workers and decrease the employers legal risk.

Why You Should Develop a HR Policy

There are a number of reasons a company would need a HR policy, these include:

  • Complying with new and updated legislation.
  • To develop a more formal and consistent approach to staffing as a company grows.
  • To support the general management and the company’s visions, values and direction.
  • Following the latest trends in human resource management.
  • To cope with internal change.
Employing Staff For The First Time

There are several things that you need to do legally when you employ someone for the first time.

  1. Work out the level of pay – it must be at least the national minimum wage.
  2. Check your employees legal right to work in the UK.
  3. If you work in a field with children, vulnerable adults etc. you must apply for a DBS (formerly CRB) check.
  4. You need employers liability insurance before your employ someone.
  5. Send a written statement of employment, as long as they are working with you for over one month.
  6. You must tell HMRC that you are an employer.
What Other Policies Do You Need

Not all HR policies are legal requirements, those that are include:

  • Bullying/ Harassment
  • Discipline, dismissal and grievance
  • Equality and diversityHuman Resource Policies
  • Health & Safety (if you have more than five employees)
  • Maternity/ paternity/ adoption
  • Pay
  • Redundancy
  • Smoking/ drugs and alcohol
  • Whistleblowing/ protected disclosure
  • Working time and time off

Whilst the following are not legal requirements, it is beneficial for you to have them to be open with your employees and to protect yourself:

  • Confidentiality of information
  • Patents and copyrights
  • Rewards, benefits and expenses
  • Right to search
  • Use of company facilities (phones, emails etc.)
  • Training and development
  • Working for another employer
How To Communicate Your Human Resource Policies

You need to let your employees know that your company has the relevant policies in place, and it would be wise to let them read them at their own leisure in private. You should discuss the policies during the induction procedure and let them know where they can be found. You could put them on a company intranet or shared drive, so anyone in your company can read them at any point.

What To Do If You Amend Or Add A Policy

Firstly, you need to check whether the new policy affects any of your employees contracts. If it does then you will need to arrange a meeting with the employee and get their approval on the change. If you don’t do this, then legal action can be taken against the employer for breach of contract or constructive dismissal.


Aspire Cambridge are specialist human resource providers. We can arrange to create or update your human resource policies and keep your staff members informed. To find out how our professional team can help your company, contact us or call our human resource department today on 01223 855441.