Employee handbooks can minimise risk

We cannot stress the importance of employee handbooks enough, your employees are your biggest risk (and biggest asset) and it is important to keep your employee handbook up to date.


You have to clearly mark out parameters for your employees, putting into writing behaviour that is and isn’t acceptable.


This kind of information doesn’t belong in your contracts of employment as it is far more difficult to vary contracts of employment and also anything in an employment contract becomes a contractual obligation. An employee handbook’s main function is to lay out the guidelines that employees need to follow. They are essential in shaping your employee’s behaviour.


You may find it difficult to deal difficult situations if you do not have a handbook to refer to. You do not want to get into a situation where you are having to pay out large settlement sums in order to dismiss an employee who has acted inappropriately because you are not able to demonstrate that you had the necessary polices in place to prevent such behaviour.


So what should be in your staff handbook? There are standard topics that should be included such as disciplinary and grievance procedures as well as  anti- harassment and bullying policies. But there are other things that you can include in your handbook that are more specific to your business.


They must be kept up to date in order to be effective and must be kept in line with relevant legislation. We are able to make sure that you are up to date with regular reviews. In recent case law an employer was not found to be in breach of an employee’s privacy rights when they monitored his email account because they had clear guidelines in their company policy prohibiting personal use of company property.


Do you have your employment contracts and handbooks up to date? We can review your contracts and handbooks free of charge, so that you are able to see if they are doing the job! Send your documents to masa@yourhrlawyer.co.uk



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