Employee handbooks
Employee handbooks

The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Employee handbooks
  • Employee handbook precedents
  • Contents of employee handbooks
  • Contractual force
  • Determining which parts of a handbook are potentially contractual
  • Determining which terms of a handbook are apt for incorporation
  • Amending employee handbooks

Certain aspects of the employment relationship have to be covered by a written statement of particulars of employment that is given to the employee (see Practice Note: Written statements of employment particulars). The particulars are often incorporated within the employee's contract of employment.

Other terms must be put in writing, but only need to be 'reasonably accessible' to the employee. The employer can choose whether to have them as separate documents, or as a group of policy documents, or to put them into an employee handbook. They are:

  1. disciplinary and grievance rules

  2. holiday pay, and

  3. sickness absence and pay

There is no requirement to have an employee handbook but the advantage of using one is that it can deal with a wide variety of aspects of the company's rules and culture, rather than simply focusing on the contractual rights of the individual employee. It can also present rules and policies in a less legalistic way which may be easier to understand.

Employee handbook precedents

Our automated Lexis®Smart employee handbooks enables users to select which policies and procedures they wish to include in either a long-form or a short-form handbook from our suite of over 50 precedents. Users also:

  1. decide, in one go, how the employer should be referred to throughout the handbook (eg ‘the Company’, ‘the Employer’ or ‘ABC Limited’)

  2. identify, in one go, throughout the handbook, which

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