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Where can we get started if we wanted to buy or create an Employee Handbook?

By: Bill Wortman

 

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I wanted to know any helpful tips or laws regarding an Employee Handbook. Where can we get started if we wanted to buy or create one? Answer:
1. Employee Manual or Handbook Considerations: From a general business perspective, the number of employees, type and number of employee fringe benefit programs, and other factors influence the need for an employee manual. For example, the cost of an employee manual varies based on the number of company policies, type of employee fringe benefit programs, and amount of outside legal review required. Also, many employers with less than 10 employees often have condensed employee handbooks that are less costly to prepare. Pros and cons of employee manuals include these basic considerations:

Advantages:
–    Establishing uniform, well-defined standards
–    Creating a vehicle for disseminating the employer’s standards
–    Establishing a common understanding and expectations regarding employer standards
–    Reducing the risk of employee lawsuits

Disadvantages:
–    Fostering management inflexibility
–    Establishing standards to which management does not adhere
–    Engendering workforce dissatisfaction due to imprecise or incomplete language
–    Prompting or supporting employee lawsuits:

2. Employee Manual Preparation: If you decide to develop an employee manual, you can possibly draft your own document in order to save legal or other HR professional fees since it will only have to be reviewed by a lawyer.  To consider the development of a manual for your business, the following is a sample list of possible employee handbook content:
–    Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) and Conflict of Interest Statements
–    Anti-Discrimination Policies
–    Compensation
–    Work Schedules
–    Standards of Conduct
–    General Employment Information
–    Safety and Security
–    Computers and Technology
–    Media Relations
–    Employee Benefits
–    Leave Policies

Example Handbooks:

 

Policy Resources:

Templates and sample documents can be very useful but businesses should exercise caution in the use of such documents. Sample employee handbooks for example may not include every topic needed to address your particular fringe benefit programs, compensation plans, and other circumstances. A well-conceived document will, however, be relatively easy to modify, allowing you to add and delete sections as appropriate. Due to the complexity of labor laws and the potential for liability in such areas as discrimination and confidentiality, we recommend that all employee handbooks and personnel policy statements be reviewed by a qualified labor lawyer.

Published: July 8, 2014
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