Maintaining an efficient and harmonious workplace is critical for the ongoing success of your business. It also ensures compliance with workplace legislation. Employee handbooks are a valuable resource in most businesses and should be seen as a tool to enhance the employer-employee relationship and help defend against wrongful termination, discrimination, and harassment claims. Regardless of organisation size, when properly drafted and legally reviewed, the employee handbook can be the keystone to good employment practices.
What is an employee handbook?
An employee handbook is a legally drafted document given to employees that outlines all of your workplace’s policies and benchmarks expected in the workplace. Generally, the employee handbook is given to new staff members to ensure they can understand the organisation’s expectations, workplace policies and procedures.
Employee handbooks are unique for every business type so it’s important you discuss your legal options with our team as soon as possible.
Clear written policies can provide a defence against many employment related claims brought by employees should there be an employment dispute. If these policies are merely posted on bulletin boards or conveyed to management for dissemination to employees, there is no way for the organisation to know which employees actually read them. A handbook is a means of uniform distribution of policies and procedures to all employees. The employee handbook should be regularly updated to ensure compliance and to ensure that you’re up to date with the most recent legislation.
What are common policies and procedures included in employee handbooks?
There are many policies and procedures in the employee handbook that should be included (and not limited to) such as:
- Social media policies
- Harassment policies
- Parental leave policies
- Workplace procedures
- Workplace health and safety policies and procedures
- Leave procedures
- Grievance procedures
Our team of employment lawyers will ensure that your businesses employee handbooks are up to date with current laws and written in plain simple terms which can be understood by all parties. Poorly drafted employee handbooks can cause confusion or ambiguity for both the employer and employee and should be avoided at all costs.
Employee handbooks should also be updated on a regular basis as internal changes can cause problems in the future.
Do you want more information?
Contact our team today to discuss whether you may need employee handbooks or any other employment law services.