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What is an Employee Handbook

An employee handbook is a "type of book or manual" which clearly explains the (organization) workplace policy and determines for employees what are the expectations from them and what they can expect from the company.

What Goes in an Employee Handbook

As an employer, what elements must be covered in your company book/manual? here are topics to consider including in an employee handbook:

Introduction: Start the manual by describing the history and business philosophy of your company.

Hour: State normal working hours for full-time employees, rules for part-time employees and how compensation for overtime can be allowed for rightholders.

Wages and salaries: Be clear about how you set the pay and salaries and how you increase them. Also explain any bonus programs.

Benefits: Explain the rules regarding benefits such as vacation allowance, sick leave, unpaid leave, and so on. For programs implemented by an external provider, such as health benefits, other insurance benefits and retirement benefits, employees refer to the official planning documents that explain the rules.

Drug and alcohol abuse: Many companies have policies that prohibit employees from using drugs or alcohol in the workplace. Some require drug testing; some offer to help employees deal with substance abuse through counseling or employee-supported programs. Include this information in your handbook.

Bullying: Use your handbook to remind employees that sexual and other forms of harassment are illegal and violate your policies. Let them know that you'll not tolerate unwanted sexual comments or behavior and that you will treat any complaints about harassment seriously. Indicate how and to whom an employee can complain about harassment, which procedures you'll follow to investigate complaints and which actions against harassment will be taken.

Attendance: Emphasize the importance of good attendance and appear on time. Explain that numerous unexplained absences or repeated slowness can be a basis for disciplinary action or even shooting.

Discipline: Explain that behaviors can put employees in trouble, such as theft, violence, repeated performance issues, or a fight. Make sure your employees know that this isn't an exclusive list and that you always reserve the right to discipline or dismiss an employee.

Employee safety: Suppose employee safety is an important concern for your company and employees are expected to comply with safety rules and report potentially hazardous circumstances.

To smoke: Most companies require a written policy for smoking in the workplace; some states require employers to have a written smoking policy. Because many cities and some states now prohibit or restrict smoking at work, you must check local regulations to make sure your policy is legal.

Complaints: Let employees know which procedures they must follow to make and resolve complaints. Assign several people in the company to receive employee complaints and report that there will be no retaliation against employees for filing a complaint. Having and maintaining a written complaints procedure can protect your company against liability if an employee later complains about illegal harassment or discrimination.

Electronic communication: Include your company policy regarding the use of email, internet, social networking sites, blogs, and so on. Because you may need to read employee notices (for example, if an employee accuses another person of sending intimidating email), your policy must tell employees that their communications may be read and not private.

Workplace courtesy: Suppose employees at all levels of the company are expected to treat each other with respect and that the success of the company depends on cooperation and teamwork between all employees.

Behavior that's not covered by the manual: You can't write a personnel manual that relates to every possible work situation. It's best to make this clear to your employees by saying this in the manual. Otherwise, your employees may claim that any action you take outside of what is explicitly stated in the manual is unfair.

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