If you decide to set up your own firm, it might be the first time you’ve needed to deal with employees. While you might have managed others before, being the one that employs them is a different ball game. It comes with much more responsibility, and understanding and abiding by all relevant laws are crucial.
An employee handbook is a crucial tool to help you with this. By putting things down on paper, you can clarify various situations and give yourself a backup if the employee does not turn out as well as you hoped.
Here are some essential aspects of a well-written employee manual:
A place to sign and acknowledge they’ve received and read it
If you end up in legal problems with an employee, they might claim they never got a copy of the handbook. Having them sign to say they did and that they read it rules out them using that excuse against you.
Your harassment and discrimination policies
Make it clear that you abide by the relevant laws and expect your employees to do the same. Also, set out a clear way for them to report grievances. Remember, the law considers it your responsibility to provide a work environment free from harassment or discrimination. The stronger and clearer your policies, the less chance someone does something inappropriate and the better chance you avoid blame if something does happen that you were unaware of.
Clarify workers’ rights
You do not want a lawsuit from an employee who claims you never told them they were entitled to time off for family leave, pregnancy and the like. Set this out, along with things such as vacation entitlement, to make it clear it is available.
If you need help drawing up your employee handbook, seek legal help to ensure you create one that protects you when you need it to.