Your staff handbook will play an essential role in maintaining success and progress of your company. When you start hiring new employees, you need to have a staff handbook ready to be issued during the induction. It should convey not only the company policies but also company mission statement and culture
The handbook doesn’t have to be very extravagant and should cover the basic regulations and policies of your business in compliance with the labour laws.
Businesses will run and function smoothly when your employees are aware of your policies and standards and no ambiguity will be experience.
Once your staff handbook is issued and signed for by your employees they cannot argue that they were unaware of your policies and regulations, reducing the chances of employee litigation. Bear in mind that you will need to ensure that you apply the stated policies consistently and equally .
You can change your policies and update the handbook as long as you inform and give your current employees ample notice unless your business has a union collective bargaining agreement or some other contract. It is normally advisable to let your employees review the policies before implementing them to give them time to ask questions and become familiar with them. Ensure you issue any updated staff handbook to all your employees at the same time .
Here are some of the items that your staff handbook needs to cover:
- Payment for the overtime
- Company and Statutory Benefits
- Sick Pay – also include procedures for informing the company of any absence due to illness.
- Attendance Policy – This policy should address all the possible consequences of lateness by employees and disciplinary actions.
- Statutory and Company Disciplinary Procedures
- Holiday Pay
- Harassment Policy
- Property Policies – This should address the use of business property such as phones, computers, vehicles and many others.
Your staff handbook should help you deal with the majority of employee issues you may encounter
Be aware that it is a breathing document that needs to be updated as your business changes and grows and also comply with changing labour laws.