An Employee Handbook is a very important document in the life of any business which hires multiple employees. An Employee Handbook is a document established by the business that outlines the rules, practices, and procedures for employees at the company. In an Employee Handbook, the company informs employees about the standards that are expected of them. The company also generally lets employees know about important information like benefits and time off.
Generally, employees don't negotiate anything contained within the Employee Handbook. Employers are the ones that list all of their requirements and policies and employees simply review and sign the Handbook to acknowledge that they've received it and read everything contained within it.
Employee Handbooks are often very long, very robust documents. Despite that, however, most Employee Handbooks are not meant to be absolutely comprehensive guides on everything surrounding the employment relationship. Rather, they are baselines for company policies, through which employees can also find out how to access any additional information they may need.
How to use this document
This document should be used by a business looking to get their employee policies and procedures down into a permanent form. Employee Handbooks are normally given to individuals at the start of the employment relationship.
The Human Resources department (or any individual or department that handles employee hiring, intake, and advisement) at the company should fill out this form. It will start with the contact details of the company. Then, the form will go on to ask specific questions about the company's employment policies and other information that employees need to know.
Please keep in mind that an Employee Handbook is different than an Employment Agreement. An Employment Agreement is a specific contract used for just one individual and the company. Employment Agreements are also generally more specific to the actual terms of the employment than a Handbook.
When this agreement is filled out, it should be printed out and kept on file with the company. Then, each time an employee starts work with the company, the employee should be given a copy of the handbook and asked to sign the acknowledgment page. The company should keep a copy of the signed acknowledgment page and the employee should keep the complete Handbook.
Employee Handbooks themselves are not subject to Federal or state laws, but the policies underlying the employment relationship are. Specific state laws will cover the individual elements of the employment relationship.
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