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Does an employer need to have an Employee Handbook?

There is no law requiring employers to have an employee handbook, but it's a good idea. A handbook lets you inform your employees about your workplace rules in an efficient, consistent way. Your employees will know what is expected of them and what they can expect of you. Good communication leads to better productivity and staff retention.

There are some procedures by law you are required to give to employee and an employee handbook is a good place to put them. It is also a useful place to keep forms relating to sickness self-certification, holiday requests, expense claims etc.

Below is a list of polices commonly found in an Employee Handbook:

 

Policy Name

A

 

Required by law

B

 

Additional recommended employment policies

1

Health & Safety

Yes

 

2

Disciplinary Rules & Procedure

Yes

 

3

Grievance Procedure

Yes

 

4

Equal Opportunities

 

Yes

5

Sickness Absence Policy

 

Yes

6

Annual Leave Policy

 

Yes

7

Flexible Working

 

Yes

8

Capability Procedure

 

Yes

9

Anti-Bullying & Harassment Policy

   

10

Email, Computer & Internet Use Policy

 

Yes

11

Smoking, Alcohol & Drugs Policy

 

Yes

12

Corporate Social Responsibility Policy

 

Yes

13

Maternity Procedure & Policy

 

Yes

14

Paternity Leave Policy

 

Yes

15

Parental Leave Policy

 

Yes

16

Adoption Procedure & Leave Policy

 

Yes

17

Additional Time off Policy (e.g. Jury Service, Time off for Emergency Dependents Care, Compassionate Leave)

 

Yes

18

Social Media Policy

 

Yes

19

Whistleblowing Procedure & Policy

 

Yes

20

Disaster Recovery Policy

 

Yes

21

Core Office Hours

 

Yes

22

Expense Policy

 

Yes

23

Performance & Development Reviews

 

Yes

24

Probationary Period Policy

 

Yes

25

Conflict of Interest Policy

 

Yes

26

Dress Code

 

Yes

Traditionally, employees were provided with a heavy print out of the full employee handbook upon starting at the company and some employers printed all their policies and included them in their offer packs. However, with the constant changes in employment law, these heavy door stoppers of employee handbooks were becoming out of date almost as soon as they were being printed. 

Nowadays, thankfully those days are in the past and most employers save their employment policies in a shared electronic location where all staff can access e.g. on a shared drive, on the intranet. We recommend you save each employment policy separately – this makes updating them easier. For those staff who do not have access electronically to the employment policies, you could keep a printed set of all your policies in a folder in a key staff area.

How we can help

If you don’t have any employment policies in place, Shaw Gibbs can provide you with a set of fully compliant, robust and easy to follow employment policies and processes on the key areas. These will be tailored to your business’s requirements. We will work in consultation with you to identify the appropriate HR policies and procedures right for your organisation.

Are you confident your policies are up to date with employment law? Shaw Gibbs can ensure you are fulfilling your legal obligations as an employer with regards to employment law by reviewing all your policies and recommending any changes required. 

For a free consultation on employee handbooks and employment policies please contact kerry.whitfield@shawgibbs.com or phone 01865 292260

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Contact Us

For a free consultation on employee handbooks and employment policies please contact kerry.whitfield@shawgibbs.com or phone 01865 292260

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