It’s inevitable – if you don’t have a policy in place you will encounter a situation that calls for that exact policy. Not having a corrective action policy will probably ensure that employee relations issues will keep cropping up. If employees are not aware of the “rules of the game” at your workplace, they will in inevitably make up their own rules. With all the new legislative changes recently, including changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the new Accessibility legislation, it’s essential to make sure your employee policy manual is up to date with the latest legislative updates or changes within your business.
One important policy that employer’s sometimes overlook is smoking in the workplace. Nowadays, it is unheard of for anyone to be smoking in the workplace, however; according to CBC News Canada, as of 2012, 17% of Canadians still smoke. With almost 1/6 of Canadians smoking, Employers still need to consider designated smoking areas and smoking policies in their employee policy manual. Most businesses would already have some sort of smoking policy in their workplace, but how detailed is the policy really? How would one define your “workplace”? If your employee travels for work, are they allowed to smoke outside their office but okay in the car? How about while driving your company’s vehicle or truck? Remember to address these issues in your policies to guide you when those kinds of situations come up.
Regardless of if you have a policy or not, there are a lot of other benefits to supporting your workers with getting help to quit smoking and take up a healthier lifestyle. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety notes “it has been estimated by the Conference Board of Canada that on the average each employee who smokes costs the employer $3,396 a year (as reported by Health Canada, 2008). These costs are attributed to increased absenteeism, lower productivity, unscheduled smoke breaks, maintenance of smoking areas, property damage, and health and fire insurance costs. Other studies report that non-smoking employees have difficulty concentrating where ETS is present. Studies have shown that smoke-free environments also make for increased productivity, better morale, and lower cleaning costs. “
Check out this great link for more ideas on how to setup a smoke free workplace in your companyhttp://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/psychosocial/ets_resolutions.html
This is the first blog of our “Rules of the Game” series which stresses making sure your employee manual works for you. Stay tuned for more useful tips to ensuring you have an effective employee policy manual.
Looking to revise or setup an employee policy manual but not sure where to start? Check out our upcoming learning session to find out more about writing an effective employee policy manual!
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