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Essential Regulations to Include in Your Employee Handbook


Essential Regulations to Include in Your Employee Handbook


If you’re an owner or HR manager of a business, you know it’s essential to let your employees know about your company’s standards, rules, and expectations. On the first day of employment, every employee should receive and review a written version of those expectations with an Employee Handbook. This document can be posted online, or on an employee-only website, but each employee should also get a hard copy of the manual. Here are some “must haves” to include in your company’s Employee Handbook:

Begin With a Corporate Definition

The first section of the Handbook should let everyone know exactly what your company stands for. The company mission statement will serve as an introduction to the corporation. This mission statement provides a framework for your employees to aspire to. A letter or statement from the company CEO welcoming the employees and reiterating the ideals of the mission statement often follows this section.

Tell Them About Wages and Work Hours

New employees will want to know how much they will earn and what hours they will be expected to work. This section should clearly state policies related to clocking in, lateness, and overtime policies. For example, some companies calculate employee pay in 15-minute increments. If driving is involved in their jobs, this section should specify if their time on the road is counted toward paid hours, and whether they will be compensated for gas mileage.

Specify Sick Days and Attendance Policy Expectations

All employees need some days off – for personal activities and for days of sickness. This section should also tell employees how many paid holidays and sick days they are granted. Employees must also be informed about the company’s attendance policy – and the consequences if they exceed the limit of allowable days off. Policies for taking a leave of absence should also be included here.

Display Available Benefits

In addition to wages, employees must be offered health insurance benefits. In this section, the company should outline the type(s) of insurance employees will get and when they will be eligible to apply for that insurance. In addition, many companies also offer dental, vision, and pharmacy benefits. If your company has a retirement or IRA plan, you can let employees know your company will follow expected guidelines by contributing up to 25% of any eligible employees’ salary to a SEP IRA for them.

Spell Out the Code of Conduct

In this section of the Handbook, there must be a list of what types of employee behavior are expected during work hours – and what kinds of behaviors will not be tolerated. Some examples of unacceptable behavior might include sleeping on the job, falsifying work hours, excessive profanity, or being under the influence of prohibited substances. To be more specific, an employee can be considered under the influence of marijuana if the results of an on-the-job blood test show a level of 5ng per milliliter. After each of the unacceptable behaviors, the Handbook should cite the consequences of those behaviors.

Present Them Health and Safety Regulations

You’ll want all your employees to be safe at work, so there must be a section about health and safety requirements for employees. You can inform employees of policies such as required protective gear during work hours. There must also be a list of expectations for conditions that would justify the employee calling in sick. For example, a typical fever would be between 100.4 F and 104 F.

The first few days of employees’ time at their new jobs will set the stage for their future employment success. Your Employee Handbook could be an introduction and reference to future working conditions. Talk with the other managers in your company to ensure a consensus about what must be included. Best wishes to you and new employees for a positive employee experience.