Horrible HR Policies

Do your HR policies need a review?

We’re on a mission to seek out and eradicate horrible HR policies that:

  • are past their sell-by date;
  • need a review;
  • or, simply, need putting in the bin!

Sometimes, it’s just a question of revisiting the purpose of the policy and ensuring it’s used in the right way.

The ‘no other work’ policy

Most employment contracts include clauses which restrict the employee working elsewhere.  Often the employee will have to obtain written permission if they wish to carry out other work outside the company.

The employer may also reserve the right to withhold or withdraw permission if the other work is with a competitor or if it represents a conflict of interest.  Or if it adversely affects the employee’s performance or compromises the health and safety of themselves or others.

So this type of policy exists to protect your business and, to an extent, the employee and their colleagues. Nothing wrong in that!

However, what is intended as a very necessary and reasonable contract clause is often applied unreasonably and incorrectly, with some employers demanding exclusivity and a blanket ban on employees having other jobs.  Sometimes, it seems, it’s just easier to say ‘no’ rather than consider the situation, the employee’s needs and the benefits it could bring to the company.

These days it’s not uncommon for people to have more than one job for a variety of reasons, for example, financial, social, developmental, as part of their studies, as a volunteer or for charity, public service, and so on.

So, notwithstanding the checks and balances in relation to the real needs of your company and the welfare of your staff, try to take a positive approach to your employees’ other work by giving your support wherever possible.  In return you’ll be rewarded with happier, motivated employees, and also benefit from the broader range of skills and experience that they bring back to the workplace.

Perhaps it’s time to review your contracts and policies in relation to exclusivity, other work and employment restrictions?  Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, because you do need to protect your business, just make sure that what you’re expecting from your employees is relevant and fair.

Think about it … you might be the ‘other’ employer!