Employee handbooks can help ensure your employees stay safe and content. When that is the case, they are less likely to take you to court over any issues or misunderstandings that occur.
Your employee handbook needs to be specific to your business. Rejigging one that your human resources manager wrote for another company could leave you vulnerable.
Clarity is crucial in an employee manual
Most employees are not going to read a handbook that is too long or too difficult to understand. Cut the business speak and use plain English when writing. Consider the crucial points you need to get across and put them first. If you want to add additional information, such as an in-depth history of the company, add it as an appendix, or provide a link for people who wish to access the information.
Use the handbook to make your expectations and the consequences for not meeting them clear. If you expect everyone to start at 8 a.m. sharp, say so. Outlining a disciplinary procedure for when they do not can back you up if someone brings a wrongful termination claim after you fired them for continually arriving late.
Make your stance on discrimination and harassment clear and back it up with training and other means. As well as having a system for dealing with offenders, you need to provide a clear route for workers to raise issues when someone is harassing or discriminating against them. Both measures can protect you should the victim try to claim the company did nothing about the matter.
Even if you have the best handbook in the world, cases may still occur where an employee files a claim against you. In that case, you need help to understand how best to contest the claim.