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Nov 12, 2013

If you are a small business and you have an employee handbook in place, congratulations. You are already a step ahead of many business owners who feel they are “too small” to need an employee handbook.

Employee handbooks are a critical part of managing your employees and keeping your business compliant with the ever growing list of employment rules and regulations.

Simply having an employee handbook is not enough, though. Having an out-of-date employee handbook, or one missing key elements, could be worse than having none at all.

We recommend having an HR professional review the policies in your employee handbook at least once and year and make sure to pay close attention to any new regulations that come out.

Elements that frequently get missed

There are many important pieces to an employee handbook. Here are a few important ones that are sometimes missed:

  1. A Social Media policy — The rules regarding social media in the workplace are both controversial and ever evolving. It’s critical to have a policy and update it regularly.
  2. A Non Solicitation policy — This policy can protect against losing key employees but also protects against certain union organizing activities.
  3. Confidentiality provisions — The National Labor Relations Board has made recent changes to privacy laws. Even those employee handbooks that contain confidentiality policies could be out of date and the company could be at risk
  4. A “Termination When Unable to Work” provision — It is critical to have a clearly defined policy in the event an employee misses a significant amount of time due to injury, illness, etc. Employee jobs must be protected for a certain amount of time, but the business needs to be protected as well.

This article (Missing Elements of Employee Handbooks) expands on these elements and brings up additional ones.

This was originally published on the Genesis HR Solutions blog.

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