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How to update your employee handbook

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2021 | Business Formation & Planning

Employee handbooks create standards and expectations between companies and their employees. They may also create a contract that controls how employees may be disciplined or fired. Plus, they’re a handy method for disseminating information that you’re legally required to give your employees regarding their rights and benefits.

Unfortunately, many companies let their employee handbooks get outdated, which can lead to unpleasant consequences (like litigation). If it’s been more than a year since your employee handbook was last updated, then it’s time to give it a makeover.

Where should you start updating the employee handbook?

Some things may have remained the same since your last update — while others may have changed radically. Here are some areas to consider:

  • Are all of the statutory requirements included? Employment laws are always changing. You may have previously sent out notices about changes in the laws regarding sick leave, disability accommodations and more. You should include those in your most recent employee handbook.
  • What’s changed within your corporate or social structure? Have you moved several employees to remote work? What rules or policies surrounding remote work need to be updated? What about vaccination requirements? Are there changes in your sick leave policies? What’s the current policy on medical marijuana and drug testing?
  • Is your handbook clear and easy to follow? An employee can easily claim that no one informed them of the rules if your handbook contains complex or contradictory language.
  • .Make sure that your write your handbook in a way that leaves little room for confusion.

Employee handbooks are far more than a mere courtesy for your workers. They’re valuable resources and binding agreements, and they need to be legally sound.