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Why you should have a Staff Handbook

View profile for Gillian Markland
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Why you should have a Staff Handbook

A Staff Handbook is a written collection of an employer’s policies, procedures and practices which can cover a variety of topics including HR policies, employee code of conduct and operating rules.

There is no legal requirement to have a Staff Handbook (provided you have disciplinary, grievance and, if you have more than five employees, health and safety policies in place). However, Staff Handbooks can assist with the efficient management of an employer’s business and personnel as they set out all relevant rules and processes. They can help to ensure that matters are dealt with consistently and fairly and help answer employees’ questions and serve as guidance for managers.

Staff Handbooks are often ‘non-contractual’ – this means that, whilst an employee must obey the rules set out in them, the employer retains the right to change the content of the Handbook without necessarily seeking their employees’ agreement. Such ‘non-contractual’ status also means that employers are not burdened with having to follow such rules and policies to the letter.

In the event of an employment tribunal claim, you will also be able to produce the relevant policy or procedure to justify why you acted in the way that you did.

If you would like further information about the benefits of Staff Handbooks or assistance in creating Staff Handbooks tailored to the needs of your business, then contact Harrowells' specialist Employment Law Team.

Our articles are intended for general information purposes only and are not a substitute for professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. We are always very happy to discuss any plans, issues or concerns you may have and to clarify how we might be able to help. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.