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An employee handbook, or staff handbook, is a written collection and summary of your policies, procedures and practices and is a useful addition to have in place alongside your Contracts of Employment.
Handbooks are designed to answer employees’ questions on Company procedures and should communicate how issues such as sickness, absences, holidays, harassment, discrimination, family-friendly rights and other HR matters are dealt with. They can be used to inform employees about performance expectations, and provide good evidence that employees are aware that certain conduct can result in disciplinary action or dismissal. Employee handbooks can help employers to prove that they have acted fairly in accordance with set policies and procedures and can be invaluable for employers facing a tribunal claim.
Developing a staff handbook can be a time-consuming task, particularly if you are starting from scratch. We can take the hard work out of this for you, gathering together your policies, procedures and practices (or developing new ones if you need them) and putting them into a handy format for your employees to refer to either electronically or as a handbook to take away.
The staff handbook is also an ideal opportunity to welcome new employees and to set out the ethos of your organisation. An effective handbook will reflect your aims and values, perhaps including an overview of the company’s history and sharing your plans and aspirations for the future.
We will design your handbook so that it answers employees’ questions on your policies and procedures and protects you against needing to develop policies hastily and under pressure when queries or challenging situations arise. It will also help you provide a consistent experience for your employees, and avoid a situation where there are different rules for different employees.
We will make sure your handbook does what it should: that it communicates how issues such as grievances, harassment, discrimination, absence, family-friendly rights and other HR matters are dealt with; that it informs your employees about performance expectations, and serves as evidence that you, as an employer, are aware that certain conduct can result in disciplinary action or dismissal.
Your handbook will help you prove, should you need to, that you have acted fairly with your employees and would be invaluable if you found yourselves facing a tribunal claim.
Once your handbook is in place we will support you to keep it up to date. As employment law constantly changes, we recommend regular reviews and will keep you informed where there are relevant changes in legislation and new developments in case law. And of course, if the changes make it likely that your employment contracts need to be amended as well, we will let you know and make those changes for you, too.
If you would appreciate some assistance or advice please get in touch:
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