Companies change. Their size changes. Their businesses change and get updated. Then shouldn’t their employee handbooks change and get updated? You can do it, and even get help doing it, without breaking the bank.
Often, updating your handbook doesn’t mean doing wholesale rewrites. Even writing a handbook from scratch doesn’t have to be a monumental project. In fact, you can get help, for free. Before we get to that, though, consider that whether you have a handbook that needs updating or you’re embarking on writing a new one, you’ll want to create a checklist of the bases that need to be touched:
- A disclaimer clearly stating that nothing in the handbook constitutes a legal contract. It’s probably not a bad idea to have an attorney review a draft of your handbook to ensure the disclaimer and other information are OK.
- An explanation of standard policies on hours of work, paid holidays, vacation, conduct, dress code, promotions and overtime
- A section describing the company policy on harassment and discrimination, drug and alcohol use, employee safety and use of company property. (Separate from that, you’ll want to create a document that each employee signs to acknowledge awareness of company policies on those topics.)
- A section summarizing retirement plans, health care coverage and other benefits.
And the free help? That comes from the business.gov Web site, where you can get templates for putting together a handbook and other helpful info, including EEOC-approved statements on harassment and discrimination.