Why it is important to take time to communicate HR policies & procedures properly?
First of all, we must understand that HR policies & procedures can be viewed by courts as part of the contract of employment as long as the language of the policy is not regarded simply as 'aspirational'. That means a well written policy is likely to be legally binding on both employees and the organisation itself as long as it is reasonable and complies with relevant laws. If the organisation fails to communicate its policies then it may be seen as failing in its duty to inform employees of their legal obligations. This failure may expose the organisation to actions via vicarious liability.
Guidelines on human rights based policy for the workplace include:
Develop, in consultation with staff or their union, a written policy which prohibits discrimination and harassment;
Regularly distribute and promote the policy at all levels of the organisation;
Translate the policy into relevant community languages where required so it is accessible to employees from culturally and linguistically diverse communities;
Ensure that managers and supervisors discuss and reinforce the policy at staff meetings (verbal communication of the policy is particularly important in workplaces where the English language ability of staff is an issue);
Provide the policy and other relevant information on discrimination and harassment to new staff as a standard part of induction;
Periodically review the policy to ensure it is operating effectively and contains up to date information;
Conduct awareness raising sessions for all staff on discrimination and harassment issues