Resources Guides 08.12.16

Staff Handbooks

This is an effective way of informing staff about the policies that the organisation has in place with regard to standards of conduct, employee benefits and business operations. Staff Handbooks will generally contain procedures relating to annual leave, disciplinary and grievance etc. However, they are also an useful tool for communicating administrative issues such as expenses, overtime and IT security. Recently we have had to write policies on e-cigarettes and social media usage as organisational procedures have had to be updated in line with the outside world.

One particular benefit of a Staff Handbook is that terms and conditions can generally be changed without requiring employees to sign any further documentation; provided that a clause is included in employment contracts which stipulates that employees must comply with the Staff Handbook and be notified of any changes in writing (refer to section entitled ‘Contracts of Employment). Therefore if the law changes and a policy is updated then only the Staff Handbook needs to be amended rather than asking employees to sign a new contract. Our team have helped numerous clients in this regard.

The potential pitfalls of not having a clear Staff Handbook include:

  • Misinterpretation of policies and procedures
  • Accusations of inconsistency or favouritism when managing different employees
  • Increases the need for employees to sign additional letters when changes come in

Due to changes in employment law, our HR Consultants have recently drafted policies for our clients on Shared Parental Leave, Flexible Working and Anti-Bribery. We can carry out a methodical review of your current policies and procedures to ensure compliance with relevant legislation. Our specialists are happy to help you communicate policies to your staff.