When Does an Employee Handbook Need to be Updated?

We’re four months into 2019. If you haven’t made any updates to your employee handbook yet this year, it’s important that you have plans for when you will review and revise it. Is yours really up to date? Changes in your company and culture are going to necessitate changes to your handbook, and handbooks are the key to onboarding success: every employee has to read them thoroughly.

This is the part where everyone understands the importance of their role at the company and what the company’s policy is on a range of issues. Over 27 states changed their employee laws alone in 2018, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Because of equal employment opportunity and other factors, employee handbooks should be updated every year in order to ensure that they’re completely up-to-date. Here’s what every business needs to note when updating their handbooks consistently.

Why You Need An Employee Handbook

Without a handbook, there’s no rulebook. With no rulebook, it becomes difficult to consistently enforce policy and discipline in business. That also means employees wouldn’t know what their limits are. A handbook explains what’s acceptable behavior and what isn’t, and what will happen to those who misbehave on the job.

But is it okay to enforce your particular laws on your employees? As long as you’re complying to federal, state and other mandated laws, your provisions are okay to enforce. It’s also important to remember that while some federal regulations don’t go into effect until there are more than 15 employees, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be sued for it. If you don’t regularly update your handbook, you can be held liable in a lawsuit.

Dress Code Policy, Social Media Policy, and More

Every business is different, meaning that there’s going to be dress codes, social media policies for public platforms, as well as a cell phone and drug policy to consider. Every state and county has different regulations to consider these things. Not a single state is going to be the same. But an online code of conduct with a decent dress code is going to be a no brainer for an office. You always want to represent the company in the best possible way.

Communications Policy, Nondiscrimination Policy, Employee Benefit Packages

Employees need to understand everything in the handbook, as well as singing that they read the book. Public acknowledgment is crucial for any business. This frees you of whatever liabilities are described in the handbook.

Nondiscrimination policies and comprehensive benefit policies are going to be essential for any employee handbook. Of course an employee is going to want to know what they are offered as far as benefits go, along with what will happen to their benefits if they end up leaving. New hires need to be aware of the policies that pertain to them, as well as what happens if they plan to relocate.  

What to Not Forget About

The equal employment opportunity protections consider under federal law can’t ever be forgotten. Other laws include reasonable accommodations, leaves of absence, equal pay and wage discrimination; safe driving, a smoke-free workplace, and weapons in the workplace should also be considered.

When employees get involved in reviewing handbooks, it becomes a critical point where everyone can have a hand in the employee handbook. When everyone gets involved, that knowledge is easily spread.

About World Wide Specialty Programs

For the last 50 years, World Wide Specialty Programs has dedicated itself to providing the optimal products and solutions for the staffing industry. As the only insurance firm to be an ASA commercial liability partner, we are committed to that partnership and committed to using our knowledge of the industry to provide staffing firms with the best possible coverage. For more information about Staffing Professional Liability Insurance or any other coverage, we have available to protect your staffing business, give us a call at (800) 245-9653 to speak with one of our representatives.