Creating an employee handbook might not seem like a priority when you start a new business. However, it is not something you should put off too long. The more staff you take on, the more urgent it becomes.
What should your employee handbook cover?
Here are some of the things to include in your employee handbook:
- Who you are: Creating a strong company culture is essential to ensure everyone is on the same page. It helps new employees understand a bit about your company, its values and mission.
- Policies: Outline how you comply with anti-discrimination policies. Make reporting procedures clear. A failure to do so increases the chance of litigation if an employee suffers harassment or discrimination. Do not hide this section away. It needs to be prominent so that everyone knows you take a firm stance.
- Workers’ Compensation policy: Ensure employees know what to do in the event of an accident. Following the steps in the correct order will allow them to claim against your insurance rather than you.
- Time off policies: If you require workers to give a certain amount of notice when asking for vacation, make this clear. Spell out the company policies on things such as unpaid leave and mention the family medical leave act.
- An acknowledgment page: Every employee needs to sign this page to say they have read the handbook. They need to return the signed page for you to file as proof you issued the manual.
Take care when writing your employee handbook. Seek legal help to ensure workers or a court cannot interpret it as a contract. Ensure you include everything necessary under federal and state employment laws. A well-written handbook can reduce the chance of employee litigation. A poorly written one leaves you vulnerable to litigation.