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How can we be disruptive on Statutory policy areas?

How can we be disruptive on Statutory policy areas?

Posted: 2nd July 2020

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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    I’d love to hear people’s views on reshaping statutory policies to allow more freedom to be courageous.

    Obviously, we have to have grievance and disciplinary policies, but instead of long winded process manuals which is what the policy has become over the years, I want to throw it all out the window and just say ‘if things go wrong, we will meet the ACAS Code of Practice’ i.e. ‘we will do the right thing by you and by the organisation – and that might look slightly different in each case’.

    In practice I’d love us to then allow a triage type approach where we say, for example, ‘look, this isn’t a grievance, talk it through. Work it out. Act like grown-ups – you can do it and we’ll help you to have those conversations if needed’.

    Has anyone been back to statutory policy and chucked everything out the window, stripped it back to basics?


    Hi Hannah,

    Great plan!

    I can give you examples of several clients who have done this recently and I’m sure they’d be happy to share their experience. If you’re interested I can send you their contact details via your email.

    I’m sure you’ve seen, but we’ve developed a toolkit for revamping your handbook and included an example of what one looks like. There is also our leader’s guide example to support managers in dealing with things more informally rather than relying on policies which says this:

    ‘We are keen to encourage freedom and autonomy rather than stifle it.  We know if we do, we will continue to attract and retain the best people who flourish in our culture.  So, you won’t find a process or rules for everything – just some guidelines to help you think things through.

    We trust you to use good judgement as every situation will be different and will often require a different answer.

    We know that good judgement often comes from lots of experience and it might be a bit daunting to have to make decisions without a policy or a HR person, but if you just behave like a decent human being the chances are, you’ll be doing a great job.

    But of course, if you won’t always know what to do and so why not chat through with another manager to get their take and of course support is available from the People Team as and when you need to talk things through.

    Oh, and don’t worry – if you don’t make the right decision, we see this is as a learning opportunity not a failure – we’ve got your back!’

    It would be great to hear how you get on!



    Hi Hannah

    From 1st July we have scrapped all People (HR) policies and now have 4 core principles (Disciplinary; Grievance; Individual Support; Absence Management) and a bunch of How We Operate guidelines.  Our disciplinary principles refer to ACAS. We’ve not had any push back from our people, some line managers are wary as they suddenly realise they’ve got to deal with stuff rather than coming to us. We launched a new intranet at the same time, with 4 key sections: You and Your Family; Your Job; Leaders’ Toolit; Resolving Issues. That has helped back up the removal of policies.

    Hope that helps





    Hi Karen


    Thank you – that’s fantastic wording I love it!  Yes please to connecting me to those willing to share their experiences.




    Hi Maggie

    Thank you for sharing your experience!

    Looks like you’re where we want to be, how exciting.  Yes, we’re preparing for that realisation from managers too – lots of skills workshops and revamping the learning opportunities through our LMS to help support them…

    You give me hope!


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