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Charlie Duff

Sift Media


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HR tip: Making rules work


Learn HR is a leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications, and is experienced in advising on common HR and payroll problems. A wide selection of tips and guidance can be seen below. recommends that any tips are taken as a starting point for guidance only.


The question:
Our rule book, frankly, is a bit of a joke and standards of behaviour are generally poor. I have only recently joined the company as a manager and have taken the matter up with my supervisors but they say firstly, their employees don’t take much notice of them and secondly, they have never been given backing if they have taken their employees to task for not complying with rules. Any suggestions?

HR tip:
Firstly, I suggest that you check over your rules and your disciplinary procedures and make sure that they are adequate for the job. If not, rewrite them in conjunction with your supervisors and representatives of the employees. Then make clear to your supervisors that, if they apply the rules and exercise discipline properly, you will support them fully. Tell them that, if they have any doubts about how to do so, they should first discuss the issue with you. Make sure that all your employees are aware of the prevailing standards and procedures. Finally, tell your supervisors to personalise the company rules. For example, if an employee comes in late, tell the supervisors to say not “lateness is against company rules” because it suggests that they do not really support those rules. They should say instead “I will not have my people come in late”, or “I want my people in on time as we have a job to do”. This makes the supervisors the owners of the rules and regulations and also strengthens the bond they have with their people. And the respect it generates works wonders for team spirit and standards of behaviour.

Previous HR and Payroll tips:

October 2009
Regular Absenteeism

September 2009
Signing contracts of employment
Limiting recruitment – discrimination?
Children at work
Stopping swearing

August 2009
Types of holiday
Is ‘old boy’ discriminatory?
Too hot to work?
Parking on residential roads

July 2009
Length of CV
Wearing shorts at work
Unanswered job offer
Defining redundancy
What is theft?

June 2009
Challenging doctor’s fit note
Personal hygiene problem
Unfair vs wrongful dismissal
Appeal problem

May 2009
Termination arrangement
Reporting sexual harassment
Reducing wages
Recovering relocation expenses

April 2009
Proof of drunkenness
Validity of warnings
Loss of driving licence
Refusal to supply references
Informal warnings

March 2009
Burden of proof
Selection for redundancy
Workplace affairs

February 2009
A problem of discrimination?
Booking holidays
Help for redundant employees
Pin-ups in the machine shop

January 2009
Following disciplinary procedure 
Changing terms of employment after TUPE
Music in office
Time off for redundant employees

2008 tips

2007 tips

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Charlie Duff


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