Why your company needs a Staff Handbook

When you, as an employer, are employing staff it’s vital for you to use an employee handbook to outline in writing the practices and procedures you want your employees to follow. A Staff Handbook is an easy way to let you put the company’s staff policies into one document.

But when should your company use an employee handbook and what should it contain? We answer the all important questions about how you, as an employer, can outline your staff policies:

When should I give my employees the Staff Handbook?

All of your employees should be issued with a handbook at the start of their employment and should then confirm that they have read and understood it.

The Staff Handbook should also be referred to in your employees’ employment contracts.

Can I, as the employer, amend the staff policies mentioned in the Staff Handbook?

You can amend the staff policies in the employee handbook at any time.

What does the Staff Handbook contain?

The handbook may contain a variety of procedures and will vary from employer to employer, but in nearly all cases the employee handbook should include the following:

  • Equal Opportunities Policy
  • Disciplinary Rules and Procedures
  • Grievance Procedure
  • Health and Safety Policy

Lawpack’s Staff Handbook covers all such staff policies.

The handbook can cover all administrative issues, so it’s important that you, as an employer, consider your own needs and requirements when preparing your own.

It’s quite common, for example, that an employee handbook deals with a number of matters, such as the logistics of overtime, taking time off for holiday and public duties, and for taking care of dependants.

Your company's Staff Handbook should also include your company's rules on staff sickness and absence, maternity and paternity leave, and parental leave. These arrangements will vary according to your company’s needs, although they will always need to be in line with statutory rules.

If your company wants to have a more detailed staff policy, then Lawpack's Staff Handbook can help. It incorporates the following: 

  • Dismissal and Disciplinary Procedure
  • Drug and Alcohol Policy
  • Staff Email and Internet Policy
  • Equal Opportunities Policy
  • Flexible Working Procedure
  • Grievance Procedure
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Maternity, Paternity, Adoption and Parental Leave
  • Redundancy Procedure
  • Staff Sickness and Absence Policy
  • Data Protection Policy
  • Whistleblowing Policy

Should a Staff Handbook outline the use of telephones, email and the internet?

Yes. It’s essential for you, as an employer, to outline in your employee handbook the extent to which you will tolerate the use of the telephone, email and internet for personal use. 

Outlining your staff policy in your handbook not only reduces the likelihood of employees overusing the telephone, email and internet, but also if they do abuse the system, you are in a stronger position to take disciplinary action against the employee because you can point to a clear procedure in your company's handbook which has been violated.

An email and internet policy is included in Lawpack's Staff Handbook but Lawpack's Staff Email and Internet Policy can also be purchased separately.

External information


Published on: December 7, 2009

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