Employee handbook basics

Those that have employees working for them should have an employee handbook available to them. In this blog, we’ll be teaching you about these resources and why you should have one.

Why is an employee handbook important?

Employee handbooks are an essential resource for all employees. It’s a tool created to complement employment contracts by detailing all policies and legislations applicable during the employment of the individual. They detail all responsibilities of both employers and employees and should provide cover for different situations (these are detailed in the next section).

If having an employee handbook is not strictly an obligation for employers, giving written details of employment is a legal requirement and handbooks give employers the opportunity to set out in detail what is expected from employees. Some policies and procedures have to be given to employees (by law) and it’s also good practice for employers to set out everything in writing to protect themselves against claims.

What should be included in an employee handbook?

Handbooks should at least contain the policies and procedures employers have to detail to employees by law:

  • Health and safety policies
  • Grievance procedures
  • Disciplinary rules and procedures

Other policies are recommended but not required by law, such as:

  • Equal opportunities policy
  • Sickness absence policy
  • Flexible working policy
  • Benefits scheme, including the details on leave and pay regarding; maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave.

Employers can even include any dress code, all rules related to taking leave, overtime, pensions schemes or any training opportunities.

When to revise an employee handbook

Employee handbooks should be revised when policies and rules need to be updated. If the legislation changes or if a gap has been identified, then the handbook should be updated to include the latest legislation or procedures that the company is putting into place. We would recommend reviewing it once a year to make sure it is still compliant with the law.

If you require guidance or support when putting an employee handbook into place, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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