An employee handbook is a guide that contains a series of rules, regulation and policies about a company’s operation.
It is used to instill awareness of key policies among the employees and at the same time safeguard the company’s interest, financially and legally.
Often, an employee handbook is given to complement the employment or contract letter, and in a lot of ways, acts as a reference for matters not covered in the agreement contract. Whether the employee will make the employee handbook his good friend for reference is another story.
Generally, an employee handbook is printed out as a small booklet (between 10-30 pages), and upon receiving a copy of it, an employee will normally be asked to sign a statement of acceptance of the terms and conditions. Take note that from the employee’s point of view, this is a very important step and do not just blindly sign the papers without knowing what’s in store for you.
The last thing you want to happen is being dragged to court by your very own employer for the wrongdoing in your parts, and was already covered on a document you already signed.
Some of the important topics generally covered in an employee handbook may include usage of company property, confidentiality and proprietary of information, dress code, smoking policy, employment classification, sexual harassment, performance review, misconduct, safety and health regulations, work hours, maternity/paternity leaves, employee assistance program, conflict of interest and disciplinary procedures.
A good sample of an employee handbook is give by Florida Home Business Association, FHBA. Click here to download the sample handbook (in Word format).