Must-Have HR Policies for all Indian Companies

Transparency between management and employees, an equal-opportunity provider, a healthy company culture, and a competitive remuneration package, among others, are instrumental in an organisation’s growth, sustenance, and overall success. It is crucial to have robust HR policies to uphold an organisation’s mission, vision, and values.

Why are HR policies important in the workplace?

  • Following policies and procedures help structure an organisation and enable smooth operations.
  • Any hiccups or challenges that may arise can be quickly identified and addressed. 
  • As a policy is the right of every employee, it also guides them to make smarter professional and personal decisions.
  • Policies and regulations promote a safer and more respectful workplace.
  • Policies keep employees, HR professionals, and management teams accountable. 
  • It also ensures compliance with the law. 

As India is a rapidly growing market for new ideas, ventures, and businesses, HR teams must set up concrete policies for a thriving and responsible workplace. Already established businesses may also take this time to update existing policies and introduce new ones.

You might also be interested to read: Importance of Strategic Human Capital Plan

7 HR policies your company must have in India

1. Prevention of Sexual Harassment: A key finding in the Council of Ethics’ Annual Review On The State Of Sexual Harassment In India was that 70% of the respondents admitted feeling uncomfortable at the workplace due to another employee. Yet, the same report also shows that 68.7% of those who faced sexual harassment at work did not file a complaint.

Corporate India must implement The Sexual Harassment Of Women At Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013. It fosters a safe culture for women and helps those under sexual advances and threats bring their stories forth.

2. Maternity leave: A healthy workplace understands the importance of family and aims to improve not only the lives of its employees but also their families. Hence, Indian companies must follow the Maternity Benefit Act of 1961 to ease parenting obstacles. A maternity leave helps new mothers take the necessary time away from work to recover and provide undivided attention to their newborn.

According to the Maternity Act, the employee is entitled to a maternity benefit of twenty-six weeks for the first two child births, of which no more than eight weeks should precede the expected delivery date. Employees who legally adopt are entitled to the same time of maternity benefit from the date the child is placed with the adopting mother.

3. Anti-bullying policy: Bullying in the workplace can take many forms. Verbal bullying includes ridiculing, slandering, or accusing a person and, sometimes, even attacking their families. Abusive and offensive comments, especially about their appearance and making the employee the centre of demeaning humour, can mentally disturb and affect a person.

Causing physical harm and even damaging an employee’s workstation or property are forms of physical bullying. Sometimes, bullying can be silent and only through gestures. To ensure that all employees are treated fairly and equally and that no one is a victim of bullying, HR professionals must devise and strictly implement an anti-bullying policy. The repercussions for the bully can be a basic verbal warning or a termination of the work contract, depending on the severity of their actions.

4. Menstrual leave policy: According to a Global Journal of Health Science report, 70.2% of participants in a menstrual pain survey said they face dysmenorrhea or painful menstrual cycles caused by uterine contractions. Working in such conditions is not ideal, to say the least. 

To ensure that women in the workplace can perform their very best, companies in India should make it mandatory to introduce menstrual leaves at least once a month. Food delivery platform apps like Zomato and Swiggy and other companies like Byju’s and Gozoop offer menstrual leaves to their employees.

5. Non-discrimination policy: Every company in India must strive to be an equal opportunity provider to all individuals, regardless of age, sex, caste, religion, and even political affinities. Even though companies have an equal-opportunity badge they like to brandish, it seems that what’s on the surface is merely lies. Oxfam India’s “India Discrimination Report 2022” has a story to tell.

Despite having the same educational qualification and work experience as men, women are still discriminated against because of employer prejudices and earn less than their male counterparts. The lower wages are 67% due to discrimination. HR professionals, leadership, and management teams must ensure that their workplace is one without biases and must treat everyone with the same level of respect. 

6. Performance management and appraisal policy: It’s no secret that employees all over wait for yearly appraisals and bonuses. It’s also no secret that management teams suddenly decide to cut costs when the time for appraisals comes around. Expectant employees are left feeling disheartened and deceived. Companies must create an appraisal policy that sees the true worth of an employee and rewards the employee appropriately. 

Team leaders should help enable growth for their team members to ensure they are living up to their full potential and appraisals are not stuck or “lost in the way”. Encouraging employees with a yearly bonus, timely incentives, and even words of recognition helps them stay motivated to perform better. 

7. Communications policy: Depending on the size and type of establishment, each company must set up a step-by-step communications policy. This helps teams across the organisation maintain open communication channels to promote transparency. HR professionals must constantly update the company’s policies regarding emails, mobile phone usage, notice boards, and such and keep employees informed about the correct ways to use them. 

Organisations and employees collectively are promoting the notion of a healthy work-life balance. In doing so, HR teams are expected to be quick on their feet, responsive, and adaptive. HR teams are crucial in cultivating nurturing organisational values, so having robust policies and procedures in place brings the team one step closer to achieving organisational goals.


  • HR Policies Your Company Must Have In India | StartupHRToolKit | January 10, 2022
  • Workplace Bullying Policy | SHRM 
  • Annual Review On The State Of Sexual Harassment In India | Council of Ethics | 2020 
  • The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013 
  • Maternity Act, 1961, Government of India, Ministry of Labour & Employment 
  • Do Companies Have Menstrual Leave In India | StartupHRToolkit | March 14, 2022 
  • Primary Dysmenorrhea and Menstrual Symptoms in Indian Female Students: Prevalence, Impact and Management | Global Journal of Health Science | August, 2016 
  • India Discrimination Report: Women in India earn less and get fewer jobs | Oxfam India | September 15, 2022

You might also be interested to read: Why Are HR Leaders Focused On Creating Employee Centric Policies Post Pandemic?

Comments are closed.