Employee handbook template

Why do you need such a template? In 2008, there were 151,000 claims by employees against their employers that were submitted to Employment Tribunals and UK employers paid in excess of £26.4 million in compensation to employees through Employment Tribunals. Many of the claims submitted related to discrimination based upon race, sex, disability, religion, sexual orientation and age in addition to claims from unfair dismissals. By far the most claims related to Unfair Dismissal Why does this happen? Too often, employers do not have appropriate working practices and processes that have been carefully prepared and presented to their employees. Such a situation leads to inevitable problems. So if it all seems so obvious, why don't smaller businesses adopt an appropriate employee handbook template covering all the necessary areas? There are many reasons, specifically:
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The employer doesn't know the law The employer hasn't got time to prepare such a template and, as importantly, keep it up to date with changes to legislation and regulation If the employer had time to prepare an employee handbook, how would the employer ensure that it addressed all the relevant areas including: - Employee induction - Probationary periods - Employee training - Lateness - Holidays - Compassionate leave - Appearance and Dress code - Personal hygiene - Expenses - Right to search - Grievance Procedures - Disciplinary matters - Dismissal - Paternity leave - Maternity leave - Parental leave - Equal opportunities - Avoid of harassment and bullying - Acceptable computer use

What a daunting list; and that is only a sample of the areas to be covered. Clearly, dependent upon the nature of the business of the employer, a different version of the handbook is required. So it appears that the only sensible solution is to have an employee handbook template that can be customised to meet the specific needs of the employer. But that is only the beginning, once the employee handbook has been prepared, it is essential to establish that all employees have read it, understood it and registered their acceptance. Clearly, if the employer seeks to undertake these tasks manually, it could represent a major distraction from the main priority of running the business; which, after all was the main reason for starting up in the first place. What are the solutions? To determine appropriate solutions, it is necessary to summarise the situation and the potential problems arising. So what are the problems?:
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I don't know the law affecting all of my employees and every part of my business Even if I knew the law, how would I find time to create the employee handbook and keep it up to date? How do I ensure that all my employees have read the handbook, understood it and registered their acceptance? How do I ensure that I refresh the memories of my employees at an appropriate frequency? How do I ensure that an employee is referring to the latest version of a specific policy or process?

These are the main issues and the option of using a Law Firm to draft a handbook specifically for your business can be costly. Additionally, it doesn't address the issue of how you confirm receipt, understanding and acceptance by your employees of the handbook. From the above it is relatively easy to arrive at the only truly cost effective and efficient solution; adopt appropriate technology to customise a generic employee handbook template and then ensure that it is deployed to all your employees and that they register their acceptance without you having to create a 'paper chase'. Just one last word of warning; don't fall into the trap of just publishing your policies and processes through putting your employee handbook on an internal website (an Intranet) as if you do, you can't tell who has read them and whether or not they have understood them.

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