As an employer, you have a legal obligation to provide to your employees’ certain policies and procedures on the first day of their employment. Having a suitable employee handbook can help in complying with this legal obligation and is vital to maintaining a robust business – no matter the size of your organisation.
By implementing an effective employee handbook, you can set the foundations for strong employee relations. An employee handbook also helps to provide the certainty and consistency afforded by clearly documented policies and procedures.
At Truth Legal, our experienced employment law solicitors can help you to establish an employee handbook that is exactly right for your business. We can review any existing materials you have and recommend enhancements or assist you to create a thorough handbook from scratch.
We will make sure that any policies and procedures that you set in the employee handbook are legally compliant, ensuring that it is fit for the purpose of protecting your business and its interests.
If you would like to discuss reviewing or drafting an employee handbook, contact us today to arrange a free initial consultation.
Benefits of an appropriate employee handbook
Employee handbooks should act as both an introduction to the business (for newer employees) as well as a point of reference for existing employees to find useful information.
Taking the time to establish an employee handbook which is right for your business, offers a number of benefits. These include:
- You can set out the values, mission, and identity of your business – This can give your employees a sense of what you stand and strive for, and what you hold important as an organisation.
- You can set clear policies and procedures – This promotes certainty and understanding in your business, setting the expectations of your employees as to how various situations are to be dealt with.
- It can protect against Employment Tribunal claims – Having robust, compliant policies in place is a good way of reducing the risks of disputes escalating into costly Employment Tribunal claims. Documented policies avoid the potential difficulties which can result from a more haphazard approach; if different employees receive differing treatment it can lead to dissatisfaction or, in some cases, give an employee grounds to bring discrimination claims. The handbook can also make employees fully aware of the avenues open to them when they have issues they wish to raise.
Contents of an employee handbook
The following list gives an idea of what a typical employee handbook might cover:
- The values, objectives, and ethos of the business
- An employee code of conduct
- General employee guidance and good practice
- Details of senior figures in the business
- Other useful contacts
- The management structure
- Any benefits and rewards programmes
- Policies and practices on matters such as:
- Absence and sick leave
- Disciplinary and grievance
- Working time and holidays
- Privacy and Data Protection
However, the contents will – and should – vary from business to business. No single employee handbook will be suitable for every organisation. As such, you should be wary of using a template employee handbook. Keeping rigidly to the template may mean the employee handbook will not work for your business, but changing too much may mean the contents will not be legally compliant.
For matters this crucial to your business and its relationship with its employees it is worth spending the extra time and resources to get it exactly right.
Why choose Truth Legal to help with your employee handbook?
For an employee handbook to be effective, it must reflect the unique nature of your business. That’s why we take the time to get to know your business and the values you hold.
At Truth Legal, we hold strong values of our own. We are committed to providing ethically led legal services and to making a positive difference through the work that we do.
We are rated ‘Excellent’ by clients on both TrustPilot and reviewsolicitors, so you can be sure of receiving an exceptional service from our dedicated lawyers.
Truth Legal’s employment team is led by Navya Shekhar, a specialist employment solicitor with over 10 years’ experience of helping people, and businesses of all sizes, with their employment matters.
And we offer free initial consultations so you can discuss your situation with us at no cost.
If you would us to assist in making an employee handbook that works for your business, contact us today.