In our previous article, we looked at why should I create an employee handbook. This week we want to look at what should be included in an Employee Handbook.
Here are a few topics should be included in an employee handbook:
Introduction – Begin the handbook by describing your company’s history and business philosophy.
Hours – State the normal working hours for full-time employees, rules for part-time employees, and how overtime compensation can be authorized for those entitled to it.
Pay and salaries – Be clear on how you set pay and salaries and how you raise them. Also, explain any bonus programs.
Benefits – Explain the rules relating to benefits, including vacation pay, sick pay, unpaid leave, and so on. For programs run by an outside provider, such as health benefits, other insurance benefits, and retirement benefits, refer employees to the official plan documents that explain the rules.
Drug and alcohol abuse – Many businesses have a policy prohibiting employees from using drugs or alcohol in the workplace. Some require drug testing; some offer to help employees deal with substance abuse through counseling or employee assistance programs. Include this information in your handbook.
Harassment – Use your handbook to remind employees that sexual and other types of harassment are illegal and violate your policies. Let them know that you will not tolerate unwelcome sexual comments or conduct and that you will treat any complaints of harassment seriously. Specify how and to whom an employee can complain of harassment, what procedures you will follow to investigate complaints, and what actions will be taken against harassers.
Attendance – Emphasize the importance of good attendance and showing up on time. Explain that numerous unexplained absences or repeated tardiness can be a basis for disciplinary action or even firing.
Discipline – Explain the types of conduct can get employees in trouble — for example, theft, violence, repeated performance problems, or fighting. Be sure to let your employees know that this is not an exclusive list and that you always reserve the right to decide to discipline or fire an employee.
Employee safety – State that employee safety is a major concern of your business and that employees are expected to follow safety rules and report any potentially dangerous conditions.
Complaints – Let employees know what procedures they should follow to make and resolve complaints. Designate several people in the company to receive employee complaints, and state that there will be no retaliation against any employee for filing a complaint. Having — and enforcing — a written complaint procedure can help shield your business from liability if an employee later sues for illegal harassment or discrimination.
Electronic communications – Include your company policies on use of email, the Internet, social networking sites, blogs, and so on. Because you may have to read employee communications (for example, if one employee accuses another of sending harassing email), your policy must tell employees that their communications may be read and are not private. If you monitor employee communications, say so.
Workplace civility – State that employees at all levels of the company are expected to treat each other with respect and that the success of the business depends on cooperation and teamwork among all employees.
Do you have a company handbook? Have you reviewed it recently to ensure your policies are updated? Do you need help creating an employee handbook?
Caribbean HR Solutions is Caribbean’s premier HR Outsourcing company providing your HR needs. Email or Call us today for assistance with updating or creating your employee handbook or any other HR related service. Contact us at 1-876-971-7632 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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