The company handbook is sometimes known as employee or staff handbook or manual or a policies and procedures manual. It is a collection of information relating to the Company and a source for both new and established employees to refer containing codes of practice, policies and procedures, company rules and employment legislation.
It is usually delivered to a worker upon their first day of employment, accessible on the Company’s internal intranet system or available in a central location within the Company. The information contained in the handbook can resolve disputes before they arise and protect both the employer and the employee from any sort of misperception and the potential of litigation.
It will assist an employee in answering questions that employees frequently want to know:
- “What do I need to do if I need to call in sick?”
- “What are the procedures for taking holiday?”
- “What happens if disciplinary action is taken against me?”
- “What do I need to do if I feel I am being bullied?”
- “What should I do if I need to raise a complaint or grievance?”
- “How much notice do I have to give if I wish to resign?”
- “What do I do if I have restrictive covenants?”
An employee may skim through the handbook a few times in their first week of employment. However, little thought may be given to it until they need to know how to raise a grievance or what to do if allegations relating to issues of misconduct or performance are raised against him potentially leading to disciplinary action. If this is the case then it is extremely important to take legal advice from the outset to ensure a defence is prepared appropriately as advance preparation may be crucial to a successful outcome.
HOW HANDBOOKS PROTECT EMPLOYEES
For employees, company policies provide a blueprint that outlines the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. By clearly defining expectations for employee conduct, the employee handbook can offer the fall back an employee might need if a customer, co-worker or supplier places pressures on them to do something. Few would argue with an employee who says, “I wish I could to do that for you, but if I go against the company’s policy I could lose my job.”
HOW WE CAN ASSIST
We can assist in advising on the interpretation of the policies in your company handbook and what they mean to you and what needs to be done to ensure compliance or avoid acting contrary to the policies.
The above is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice.
COULD YOU CLAIM FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT?
Then please contact us on 02380 402066 or use our contact page for a free consultation