25th February 2022

Do you need a helping hand with updating your staff handbook?

Earlier this month we were asked by an employer at Ask the Expert if there was anything they needed to take into consideration when updating their staff handbook, and it reminded me of a ‘witty’ introduction I once read in a staff handbook:

Thank you!

Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternation and input should be directed elsewhere.

We do not recommend you follow suit!

Here are some hints and tips that will help the process of updating your staff handbook:

  1. Check whether your staff handbook is contractual or non-contractual. A contractual handbook (or any contractual policy contained within) will require a formal procedure.
  2. Consider involving some employees in the process. It can help make the process of rolling it out to the entire workforce easier if you have their buy-in to any changes.
  3. Make sure you include anything specific and relevant to your sector or industry. For example, financial services will have policies specifically on doing business fairly and honestly because of the rules that govern how they work.
  4. Less is sometimes more when it comes to employment policies. Don’t commit yourself to doing certain things within specified timescales just in case you can’t do what you said you were going to do. For example, don’t commit to holding a disciplinary hearing within 5 working days of the conclusion of the investigation.
  5. Check your policies are not only legally up to date but also reflect the new ways we work and interact with each other.
  6. Check your staff handbook against your contracts of employment to make sure there is no conflict or contradictions.

To book your place at the next Ask The Expert on Friday 11th March, 9.30-10.00am please email : asktheexpert@blackadders.co.uk

Donna Reynolds employment law partner

Donna Reynolds, Partner
Accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a Specialist in Employment Law & Discrimination Law
Employment Law

Blair Duncan, Solicitor
Employment Law


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