An Employee Handbook, often referred to as the employee manual, is a book/document containing information about the company and its policies and procedures. It is given to employees by the employer – typically when they first join the organisation.
This manual is an excellent place to compile all important information pertaining to the company rules and regulations. It can provide useful details for new staff during the induction process and can be a good reference point for existing employees. An employee handbook gives clarity to employees, advises them in certain situations and creates a culture where problems are addressed in a consistent manner.
An employee handbook communicates all of your workplace and HR policies and protects a business from expensive disputes with employees. The National Employment Rights Authority (NERA) aims to achieve a national culture of employment rights compliance. If a NERA inspector visits your workplace they may ask to see the company handbook to determine whether or not the company has appropriate policies and procedures in place and that it adopts the appropriate measures when various workplace scenarios arise.
Examples of some of the items that should be incorporated in an employee handbook are as follows:
•Annual Leave Entitlements
•Employment / Career Break
•Bullying & Harassment
•Drugs and Alcohol Policies / Misuse of Substances / Testing for Intoxicants
•Dress Code, Uniforms, Personal Grooming and Hygiene
•Office Phone and Mobile Phone Use
•Internet, Email and Social Media Use in the Workplace
•Breaks and Rest Periods
•Sick Leave / Sick Pay
•Punctuality / Timekeeping
•Clock-In and Clock-Out
•Vehicles and Company Property
•Use of Company Property
•Right to Search
•Ethics and Conduct
•Training & Education Funding / Study Leave
•Use of CCTV
•Garda Clearance / Vetting