An employee handbook can be a valuable communication resource for both the employer and the employee. It provides guidance and information related to the organization's history, mission, values, policies, procedures and benefits in a written format. It is also viewed as a means of protecting the employer against discrimination or unfair treatment claims. It is an easily accessible guide to the company's policies and practices as well as an overview of the expectations of management. In contrast, a policy is a written statement that reflects the employer's standards and objectives relating to various employee activities and employment-related matters.
Employers should require every employee to provide a written acknowledgement of having received the handbook. The acknowledgment should be saved in an employee's personnel file as a way for the organization to establish that the employee was made aware of the policies. By no means should the handbook be construed as an employment agreement, which may affect the employment-at-will status. It is imperative to have the handbook reviewed by legal counsel.
Putting together or updating an employee handbook? We provide a free online template or for a more comprehensive approach, talk to one of our human resource consultants