8 Guidelines on How to Write a Good Employee Handbook

Author: Gayla R. Sherry
An employee handbook, also known as staff book or employee manual, is a book supplied to the employees by an employer. The employee handbook consists of every minute details regarding company policies and procedures. The employee handbook will be helpful to bring forth employment and job-related information which every worker needs to know, such as company policies, holiday arrangements, grievance and disciplinary procedures. It can also provide useful sources of information to new staff as part of the induction process. A written handbook offers clear advice to employees and forms a culture where problems are dealt with consistently. Follow these guidelines below to draft a good employee handbook.
1. Anti-Discrimination Policies
As a business owner, one should comply with the equal employment opportunity laws, including laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act. Employee handbooks must contain a section about these laws, and how the employees must comply.
2. Work Schedules
Explain in detail about your company policies regarding attendance, work schedules, punctuality and guidelines for flexible schedules.
3. Compensation
Deductions towards federal and state taxes, voluntary deductions for the benefit of the company must be explained clearly to your employees. Apart from these, outline legal obligations with regards to overtime pay, performance reviews, pay schedules, salary increases, breaks, time keeping records and bonuses.
4. General Employment Information
Every handbook must contain an overview of the business, general job policies covering job classifications, eligibility, referrals, records, probationary periods, resignation and termination process, transfers, and union information.
5. Standards of Conduct
Document your expectations of how you want your employees to be, including dress code and ethics. In addition, remind your workforce of their legal obligations.
6. Safety and Security
Describe the company’s safety and security procedures, including compliance with OSHA/Occupational Safety and Health Administration's laws that require employees to report all accidents, safety hazards, injuries, health and safety issues and suggestions to the management. Safety policies must also include a company’s policy regarding hazardous conditions.
7. Leave Policies
Leave policies require to be documented carefully, especially those that are required to be provided by law. Family medical leave, military leave, time off for court cases and voting, all these requires to be documented to comply with local and state laws. In addition, the employer must also explain the policies for sick leave, vacation and bereavement.

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