What Goes Into the Staff Handbook?
As an employer, it is best practice to have a Staff Handbook to support your Contract of Employment. This enables you to set out and communicate your company’s policies and procedures in full. The SVC Human Resources team explain why you need to get this important document right.
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We have used SVC for HR advice and various training for some years now. The service always has been excellent. Knowing you have experts in their field behind you really helps.
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If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the above, then read on.
Spending the next few minutes reading the following may save you a lot of time, expense and frustration.
What is a Staff Handbook For?
Your staff handbook (also referred to as an employee handbook) is the place for various important policies and procedures. These documents provide your employees with guidance on how to deal with various situations and help to protect both you and your staff.
Protect Yourself and Your Employees
As an employer it is in your best interests to avoid misunderstanding and conflict with your staff!
"The single most common contributor to conflict is differences in personality or styles of working, supporting a relational view of conflict".
How to Avoid Conflict?
By unambiguous communication, and creating a sense of fairness and order to support your employment relationship. This in turn will promote employee engagement.
A well drafted staff handbook will:
However, these must be in an understandable and consistent format complying with employment law.
What You Must Provide
You must by law issue certain policies and procedures to employees. These are relating to:
You may also provide non-statutory policies or procedures. You are likely to encounter the need for such policies or procedures which are not required by law. It's good practice to provide these, for example to set out your company rules.
Non-statutory policies or procedures can give employees guidance on how certain situations may be dealt with. Doing this demonstrates a consistent and fair approach, and minimises confusion.
Recommended Non-Statutory - 1
Your employee handbook provides a concise means of communicating important information. For example, information about:
Minimise the Risk of Employment Tribunals
Recommended Non-Statutory - 2
Your staff handbook can thus help reduce the risk of employment tribunal claims.
An example of this is with family friendly policies surrounding:
These can be beneficial to:
Note: There is no limit on compensation awards in a discrimination claim.
Is the Handbook Contractual?
The recommended approach is to make the staff handbook non-contractual. This is because:
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We have used SVC for their outsourced HR services for over a year. We have a dedicated HR Consultant who has worked closely with the Senior Management Team on several HR projects, and we have been very satisfied with the support and advice provided.
Our HR Consultant has always gone the extra mile to support our business, and to be able to call or email our HR Consultant at any time knowing that we will receive a quick response, and that any response is always well researched with quality advice has been a real asset to our business.
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Do You Need More Help?
One of the main causes of employment tribunals is simple misunderstanding, according to ACAS. So it is important to have your employment handbook (or staff handbook) produced by qualified experts.
SVC's HR division will do this in a way that underpins your business. After all, it must support your values and culture as well as the law. Unlike many HR service providers, SVC Solutions' Human Resources experts will work with you to tailor your staff handbook for your specific business needs. Consequently, we meet with you and take the time to understand you and your business.
It is also important to have your staff handbook regularly reviewed to make sure that it is up to date.
Discover how SVC Human Resources experts can support you with:
Also see information on The Employee Life Cycle
The information contained in this web page is provided for general information purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included on this web page without seeking professional, legal or other specialist advice by qualified practitioners. If you have a specific human resources issue, please contact SVC Human Resources team for individual advice on your particular circumstances.