Although training can be instrumental to employees’ success, it is not always enough. Similarly, even the best-written contracts are sometimes insufficient to prevent various workplace issues that may arise. This is where an employee policy handbook can complement an employment contract and employee training.
How Can an Employee Policy Handbook Benefit Me?
Whether you are an employer or employee, having a clearly drafted employee handbook can be beneficial to you.
The most obvious benefit of a comprehensive employee handbook is the accessibility of clearly outlined employer policies—from expectations of employee conduct, to general procedures and best practices. By providing a thorough guide to all employees and management, employers can ensure their expectations are clear, uniform, and predictable, and employees can ensure such expectations are met to the appropriate standard.
For example, an employer’s harassment policy may provide clarity as to what constitutes workplace harassment, as well as the reporting structure involved should the need for a complaint arise. It may also outline the proper steps for dealing with complaints, as well as the range of possible outcomes should the employer find that harassment did occur.
Such policies may assist in further protecting the company from liability, particularly when the employer has complied with its own policies in a non-discriminatory manner, and when the policies themselves offer transparency with respect to potential disciplinary measures.
An employee handbook is not only useful for outlining the employer’s expectations with respect to employee performance and conduct, but can outline what the employees may expect in return, from bonus policies to termination entitlements.
Bonuses are often a contentious matter at the end of an employment relationship, therefore, having a proper bonus policy in your employee handbook will be beneficial for both employees and employers, and may prevent the need for litigation down the road.
Is an Employee Policy Handbook Enforceable?
The enforceability of an employee handbook depends on several factors, such as when the employee was provided with the handbook, whether the employee was provided with consideration or a benefit, and whether the employee accepted the contents of the handbook.
If you want to ensure your policy handbook is enforceable as an employer, or you want to confirm the contents of your employee handbook or to verify whether it is enforceable, it is best to contact an employment lawyer, who will be able to review all relevant factors.
When creating an employee handbook, policies and expectations should be clear, reasonable, and detailed. An employer should be careful to ensure that their policies follow applicable law.
Both employers and employees should ensure employees read their employee handbooks, and employees should make sure they understand the contents of the employee handbooks.
Contact Us for Help
If you are an employer looking to draft or update an employee handbook, or if you are an employee who requires clarification or advice regarding your employee handbook, our team of experienced employment lawyers at Achkar Law would be happy to help you further navigate the topic.
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