Having good HR policies is essential in agricultural enterprises to establish clear expectations and standards and to protect the employer.
According to the NSW Industrial Relations, well-written workplace policies:
- comply with Australian legislation
- are consistent with your enterprise’s values
- demonstrate that the organisation is being operated in an efficient and businesslike manner
- ensure uniformity and consistency in decision-making and operational procedures
- foster stability and continuity
- maintain the direction of the organisation even during periods of change
- provide the framework for business planning
- assist in assessing performance and establishing accountability
- clarify functions and responsibilities
To help ensure your business is running as smoothly as possible, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 essential workplace policies all agricultural companies should have.
Workplace injuries in agricultural businesses can range from mildly inconvenient (to both employee and employer) to devastatingly life-changing. Having a thorough WHS Policy isn’t really an option, in fact, it’s legally required in most states.
Chemical Safety in the Workplace (WHS) Policy
Some agricultural businesses may want to include a specific chemical safety policy in their documentation. The chemicals used in agribusinesses often pose health hazards if used or stored incorrectly. Under the WHS Act, a person conducting a business has the primary duty to ensure that the health and safety of workers and other persons are not put at risk from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business. This includes ensuring the safe use, handling, and storage of substances.
Bullying, Harassment & Discrimination Policy
Did you know that as an employer you are legally responsible for bullying, harassment, and discrimination in your business? To minimise the risk from this it’s crucial to have a comprehensive policy in writing. A good policy will help you in the event of complaints and define and outline behavioural standards.
Code of Conduct
Employees are representatives of your business, so it’s important that you outline the standards of behaviour you expect from them. A Code of Conduct commonly outlines expectations around common issues, like dress code, phone use and the use of company property. Having a clearly defined Code of Conduct helps to demonstrate your values and helps to manage conduct in the workplace.
Drug & Alcohol Policy
While it may be clear that drugs and alcohol on company time can pose risks to your business, a drugs and alcohol policy is the best way to establish this. Drugs and alcohol policies will be different for every business and expectations need to be clearly outlined.
Having clearly defined policies and expectations is the best way to ensure your business can handle common workplace issues in line with Australian legislation and regulations.
The Lucas Group offers services designed to help agricultural organisations identify risk areas and ensure compliance with Australian legislation. If you’re concerned about your responsibilities as an employer, contact us for a no-obligation conversation about your HR needs.