Differences between policy and law

“Most organizations develop and formalize descriptions of acceptable and unacceptable employee behavior which are called policies”.

“The rules the members of society create to balance the individual’s right to self-determination with the needs of the whole are called laws”

“The key difference between policy and law is that ignorance of policy is a viable defense,” but ignorance of law is not a viable defense. Another main difference between policy and law is policies are continuously updated, changed according to needs of the origination whereas changes to the law is lengthy process and requires approval.

Policies must be written in a way such that it can be easily understood, readily available , distributed to all individuals who are expected to compile with and acknowledged by the employee. Whereas laws are not easily and understood, distributed and not acknowledged by any individuals. Properly defined and enforced policies functions in an organization the same way as law, only for organization employees and not applicable to other outside organization. But law is applicable to everyone. Organizations policy must comply with law.

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