The top five must-have policies for small businesses


We are pleased to have Dana Ewans, one of our Corporate Legal Advisors at Jordans Corporate Law, visiting the Jordans Limited blog this week to share insight about employment policies for SMEs.

By Dana Ewans

We generally expect large companies and multinational businesses to have a comprehensive suite of policies and procedures for everything from dress code to ‘Corporate Manslaughter.’ What about the little guys? What should smaller businesses and SMEs have in place?

Some policies only become necessary when a certain number of employee is reached, like a Health & Safety policy which is required in writing but only for 10 or more employees. However, there are some policies and procedures that every business should have, regardless of how big or small they are, as this can benefit both the company and the employees.

So where do you start? Here are our top 5 policies small businesses shouldn’t be without:

1. Disciplinary & Capability Policy

The Disciplinary policy is statutory and the Capability policy sits nicely alongside. These help ensure that all staff are treated fairly when they step out of line or their work falls below standard.

2. Grievance Policy

Another statutory one. It is important that your staff feel that they can raise concerns and be treated fairly within the workplace. Your grievance policy will let them know how to raise an issue and how they can expect it to be handled.

3. Equal Opportunities

It is important for the success of any business that it treats all staff fairly and equally. The duty not to discriminate is constantly scrutinised and this policy will help demonstrate that you are complying with your obligations.

4. Anti-Bribery Policy

Since the Bribery Act 2010 came in to force, it is more important than ever to document what constitutes bribery, how your company deals with these issues and how you train your staff.

5. Social Media Policy

As the fastest growing marketing tool is further ingrained into business and daily life, you cannot underestimate the importance of setting out a Social Media policy to protect your business.

Once you’ve set up these policies, it is important your employees are aware the policies exist and ensure they are easily accessible for reference.

What other policies have you put in place for your small business? Join the conversation on Twitter and share your thoughts with us.

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