Employee Handbooks – An Overview
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The Purpose of an Employee Handbook
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An employee handbook sets the blueprint for your company. It lays out all the various policies and procedures of your company. However, just creating an employee handbook is only half the battle. You must also enforce the policies and procedures in your employee handbook fairly and efficiently. If you don’t, a court could determine that your employee handbook is not worth the paper that it is printed on.

Employee handbooks can vary drastically in size, style, and content and employers can freely choose what they want to include in their employee handbooks. However, most employee handbooks will include a set of standard policies and procedures to comply with law and avoid common areas of dispute.

An employee handbook should also be annually reviewed and updated. Employee handbooks should include an effective date, i.e. the date in which the employee handbook went into effect. When an employee handbook is updated, the effective date must also be updated and every employee will need to review and sign the updated employee handbook. This is why it is better to update employee handbooks annually or semi-annually, or when a drastically new law affects your company. Sometimes, rather than updating the whole handbook, a simple sheet of paper with a new policy may be used. It will all depend on the situation and how the employer wants to proceed.

Next, we’ll explore the basic contents to include in most employee handbooks.