Why Your Company Needs an Employee Handbook
The Employee Handbook is a key tool in communicating important workplace policies and expectations to new employees, and provides added protection in case of employment disputes. It is probably one of the most overlooked documents in business. All companies from the start up business to the large corporation should develop one, and revise it on a regular basis. View the video below to learn more about the connection between handbooks and employment law:
At a minimum, your employee handbook should clearly state your company's policies in regards to pre-employment checks, hiring and termination, attendance, safety, use of technology and leave.
Distribution & Acknowledgement
Who should receive an employee handbook? You should distribute a copy to all new employees. Each employee should sign an acknowledgement form (usually located on the last page of the handbook) to verify that they read and understood the contents. No matter whether you distribute your document in electronic or hardcopy format, the signed acknowlegement should be stored in the employee's Human Resources file for future reference. Of course, you must ensure that your version is in accordance with local laws before the document is distributed, so be sure your own business attorney has a chance to review it.
The existence of the employee handbook is most important should an employee dispute arise, and is one of the first documents attorneys will consult before responding to an employee's claim. Employers that have an Employee Handbook are much better protected during the legal process. It is much easier for an attorney to defend a company with clearly established policies than one with ambiguous policies.