Do I Need an Employee Handbook For My Business?
There is no law requiring a business to have an employee handbook, so is it really beneficial for your business to have one? An employee handbook outlines and informs your employees about the rules and regulations your company has. It allows them to find useful information on their own. While not required, there are many good reasons for having an employee handbook.
Why Have an Employee Handbook:
- It offers legal protection by protecting companies from legal claims. For example, it is a good idea to put a disclaimer in your handbook about employment. If an employee’s contract can be terminated at any time and that information is in the handbook, an employee can not file a legal claim in the event they are terminated.
- Your mission and culture can be introduced to your employees. What is your corporate culture like? How did your company become what it is today? What are your passions and policies?
- Lets your employees know what is expected of them by giving them a clear understanding of their responsibilities. It also lets them know the companies policies and procedures. How to take time off or how to document work hours can be clearly explained.
- Employees can know what to expect from the management as the handbook explains laws relating to medical leave and jury duty.
- Accurately explains policies regarding behavior, compensation, and conduct so there is consistency.
- Showcases the benefits you offer. 401K, medical coverage, vacation time are all part of your benefits package and can be clearly shown and explained to your employees in the employee handbook.
- Lets employees know where they can turn for help if necessary. It can help them understand the Human Resource department and how to report workplace violations.
Employee Handbook Essentials
- Equal Employment Opportunity
- Company goals and mission
- Employee Benefits, Paid Time Off (Vacation, Personal Days, Sick Leave)
- Unpaid Leaves of Absence; how to request an absence
- Leave policies
- Hours of Work
- Introductory/Probationary Period
- Proper E-mail/Internet Usage
- Professionalism/Dress Code
- Sexual Harassment and Anti-discrimination Policies
- Disciplinary Policies
- Problem – resolution process
Employee Handbook Non-negotiables
While an employee handbook is not required, it is a very beneficial item and it is highly recommended that businesses have one. If your company makes the decision to have one, it is imperative that it be reviewed and updated annually since laws, regulations, and policies can change. When the handbook is handed to an employee, be sure they sign an acknowledgment upon receiving it. While it may be difficult to create an employee handbook, it is priceless for solving problems, outlining policies and resolving arguments.
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