Many employers use a standard employment contract that consists of a lot of legal rules and obligations. These contracts are often legally dense, but may not suit the organisation’s vision and mission at all. This is why many organisations nowadays customise employment contracts and regulations. The first step that organisations usually take is to rewrite the employment contracts. From woolly language to clear language. By having clear provisions specifically tailored to the organisation, the employment contract reflects the organisation much better. In addition, easy-to-understand terms of employment make it more interesting for potential new employees to apply.
It is also important to make sure the employee handbook aligns well with the company. An employee handbook often contains rights and obligations of both the employer and employees. These rights and obligations do not have to be included in individual employment contracts, but the employment contract should state that the employee handbook governs the employment relationship. Deviating agreements can also be laid down in individual employment contracts.
The topics in an employee handbook vary per company and can therefore be highly diverse. Topics often included in employee handbooks are:
- Protocol on company dress code and appearance
- Protocol on acceptance of corporate gifts
- Protocol on sick leave/leave of absence
- Policy on training opportunities
- Policy on the use of social media/email/internet
- Policy on working from home
- Protocol camera surveillance
- see also the topics under Health and Safety
Of course, there are many more topics. Would you like a new employee handbook or an employee handbook that better suits the company? Or do you need to introduce one specific policy? We will be happy to assist you with this. When amending or introducing an employee handbook or policy, the works council or employee representatives may need to give their consent.
Health and Safety Policy
While the conditions of employment and staff rules must be in order for companies to be HR compliant, it is also important to have a sound health and safety policy. A health and safety policy relates to the health, safety and psychosocial workload of employees. A sound health and safety policy can reduce sick leave levels and the risk of workplace accidents. The Dutch Occupational Health and Safety Act stipulates the requirements employers must meet in terms of their health and safety policy. A health and safety policy usually covers topics such as:
- Safety and health
- JSA (job safety analysis) / action plan
- Health and safety officer(s)
- Occupational health and safety service and/or company doctor
- Remote working (facilities)
- Computer workstation
- Confidential advisor
- Whistleblower policy
- In-house Emergency Response Team
- Alcohol and drugs policy
- Personal protection
- Protocol on unacceptable behaviour
- Safe working policy
The relevance of topics varies from company to company. For instance, for some companies it will be important to have a health and safety policy on computer screen use, while in other companies protocols on dealing with hazardous substances are key. Do you require assistance in drawing up/implementing your health and safety policy? We will be happy to help you with this.
Privacy of individuals is an important and topical issue for both employers and employees, and is laid down in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The privacy of employees is subject to stricter requirements and specific rules. This also applies to job applicants and employees who are ill, for whom separate policy rules have been laid down by the Dutch Data Protection Authority, and in the case of camera surveillance of your staff. We can assist you in mapping out which data you process from your staff, and the requirements you need to comply with. We can also make sure that your HR department is compliant with the GDPR.
In some cases, the works council needs to be involved in privacy issues, but this does not apply to all situations. We can walk you through what is required in which situation. Together, we will make a roadmap to ensure the most efficient and best possible outcome for your business. We have found that business owners benefit greatly from an initial assessment through one of the HR privacy scans at www.avgscan.nl. You often process more data than you may initially think.