Company Handbooks

Rita Finch - Tuesday, September 15, 2015


What's the point of a Company Handbook?

The creation of a company Handbook is not a legal necessity; however, as an employer, you have a legal obligation to have certain written policies and procedures.

Although not all policies and procedures are legally required, it is extremely good practice to have formal written policies and procedures put together in the form of a Company Handbook. This will help to protect you and your business from any misunderstandings which could ultimately result in a very expensive tribunal - not to mention the disruption to your business!

The Company Handbook:

Defines company rules and procedures.

The list of policies that might be included is long and varied, some are fairly standard and others would be specific.

Provides clear communication and understanding of what's expected
Helps clarify expected behaviour in areas such as IT usage, telecoms and social media.

Helps prevent disputes with employees
Many disciplinary issues and poor working practices can often be rooted in misunderstandings that develop due to lack of clarity.

Forms part of the induction process
  • Assists new starters with familiarisation process and provides an ongoing reference manual.

  • Aids efficiency and professionalism

  • Many handbooks start with an introduction to the company ethos and aims

  • Assists employers in being legally compliant

  • Certain key policies relating to health & safety, grievances and disciplinary must be written down. 

  • Once written the contents of a Company Handbook are not set in stone, they are flexible and can be adapted as the company evolves and requirements change.  But employers need to remember that any changes to areas considered contractual, must be in line with current employment legislation and may require employee consultation.

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