Employee Handbook

An employee handbook is a valuable resource and reference point for your staff at all levels of the organization. It is also a good accompaniment to the Contract of Employment.

The handbook allows employers to map out their employment plan, and it is a beneficial guide to state company policies and procedures in writing. Although the handbook itself is not a legal requirement, having one on hand helps to avoid confusion or misunderstanding, should an employee issue or concern occur.

How do you use an employee handbook?

It is important to ensure that each employee is aware of all company policies – such as performance standards, sickness absence and vacation – which is why it is advisable to collate this information into a single handbook for convenience.

Employers can then refer staff to the handbook if the employee has any questions regarding policies and procedures. In the event of a dispute, the handbook offers a key reference point detailing the terms and conditions that both parties have agreed to.

Benefits, benefits, benefits.

Having an employee handbook is beneficial. And yes, it also outlines your employees’ benefits too.

Problems may arise when the employee is not made aware of an employee handbook from their start date, or if they have not been informed of an amended version. It is worthwhile to record written confirmation from each employee when a copy of the handbook is provided.

In the event that an employee is dismissed due to a breach in the key terms of their employment, it is not likely to be a fair dismissal if the employee can prove that they have not been made aware of the terms and conditions in question. This is important for employers to keep in mind when preparing the employee handbook.

Your Employee Handbook Checklist

An employee handbook should cover every required aspect of workplace regulations and employment rights. Every business is different and may require additional information specific to the company. Here’s a list of what employee handbooks typically include:

  • General information (can include a “how to use this handbook”)
  • Company history
  • Vacation or time-off policy
  • Sick policy
  • Performance review policy
  • Workplace health and safety
  • Dress code
  • Bullying and harassment policy
  • Computer, internet and social media policy
  • Hiring policy
  • Benefits

Employee handbooks are often an essential resource for any business, both to orientate new hires and inform them of their terms of employment.

Need advice on your employment plan, or a guide for preparing an effective employee handbook?

Employer Line has resources dedicated to employers – from employee handbook templates to employer guides in all areas of human resources. Call our free 24/7 employer helpline to speak with our HR experts at Peninsula and access these resources right away. That’s 1(833) 247-3650, for 24-hour expert advice.