What Information Should You Include In An Employee Handbook?
Employee handbooks – what a yawn?
Yes, they can be, both for employees and the souls who have to produce them. But if you don’t have one, you could be leaving yourself open to liability lawsuits (often with higher damages awards as a result) and a greater risk of workplace mishaps.
And, you know, employee handbooks don’t have to boring, if they’re written succinctly and perhaps include illustrations. Nor do they need to be huge undertakings.
They mainly need to encapsulate regulatory requirements and a guide to “how we do business around here” — in other words:
- Hiring policies and equal opportunities
- Hours of work and, if appropriate, flexible working
- Wages including information about overtime and advances
- An outline of any employee benefits you offer
- Use of company property such as equipment, cars and phones
- Vacations and other types of leave
- Workplace behavior
- Health and safety
- Privacy and confidentiality
- Computer usage, Internet access and emailing
- The complaints process
These headings summarize chapters in the recently published, latest edition of Create Your Own Employee Handbook by Lisa Guerin and Amy DelPo (published by NOLO).
I really recommend this book because it includes some useful downloadable forms that will save you a lot of time both in writing or reviewing a handbook.
It may be too detailed for your needs but it’s a useful reference to keep in your business and a source of language and ideas for shaping your own company policies — perhaps covering some issues you haven’t thought about or dealt with previously.
However, even with the best will in the world and the most comprehensive employee handbook, there may still be times when you run into problems or potential conflict with employees.
It’s then that you’ll want to feel secure in the knowledge that you’re adequately protected by employment practices liability insurance (EPLI). So, as part of your employee handbook review, why not add in a quick discussion with me to make sure that protection is in place?
Huff Insurance is a full service Independent Insurance Agent We have been dedicated to Protecting Lifestyles™ since 1960. We offer a full array of Personal Insurance, Commercial Insurance and Life Insurance & Health Insurance products. Call us at 410-647-111