A Guide to Writing an Employee Handbook

HR Resource
January 13, 2014 — 2,913 views  
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When you start your own company, having an employee handbook may not seem all that important. But only with time you realize that this is one of the most significant pieces that you need to have, not just to tell your employees what you want from them, but also to communicate to them what they can expect from you. It is one of the most important tools of communication between employers and employees so it needs to be chalked out well.

Coming up with a good handbook is again not too simple. There are many things to look after and you probably don’t know where to start from. In that case, here are a few points that will help you in writing a well-structured employee handbook.

Key Components That You Need To Include:

  • Anti-Discrimination Policies

As an employer, it is your duty to ensure that your employees do not face any sort of discrimination at the workplace. You need to ensure that equal opportunities are provided to your employees. You need to comply with the laws that prohibit harassment and discrimination. This also includes the Americans with Disabilities Act. A good employee handbook needs to have a section that talks about these specific laws and how your employees need to comply with them.

  • Compensation

Your employee handbook needs to explain to your employees about the necessary deductions that will be made as state and federal taxes. Apart from that, it should also talk about the deductions that can be made for contributing towards the benefit programs of the company.

  • Work Schedule

You need to include the policy of the company related to work hours and schedule, punctuality, attendance and so on.

  • Standards of Conduct

This section can include code of conduct to be followed in the office including work ethics and dress code.

  • General Employment Information

This section should include a brief overview of the kind of business you are into and general employment information about job classification, employment eligibility, termination, resignation, transfer or relocation, probationary period and so on.

Employee Policies Required By Law

There are a few employee policies that you need to include in the employee handbook no matter what, as they are required by law. Safety and security policies of the company mandatorily need to be stated in the handbook. These polices ensure that the company provides a safe and secure environment to its employees for working. These polices need to be in compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration law which requires employees to bring into notice all injuries and accidents encountered at the workplace. They can also report about potential safety hazards at workplace.

Employee benefits that are specified by the law need to be mentioned too. These should include the eligibility criteria as well as details of the benefit programs. Leave policies that are required to be provided by the employer under the law also need to be documented in the handbook carefully. Family medical law, military leave, jury duty and so on need to be complied carefully with local and state laws.

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