The Top 5 Policies to Write In Your Employee Handbook

Updated October 6, 2023

Employee Handbook

Employee Handbooks are a must for every firm, whether the firm is large scale or small scale. Mainly because the state’s policies and laws change so fast that they constantly need to be updated in the handbook so the employees can refer to it in the hour of need. Employers can make use of it by incorporating an important set of policies that are needed to be followed by all staff. Moreover, it also acts as protection against the violation of an employee’s or employer’s rights.

Employee handbooks are very important for every company as it effectively lists down the set of rules that the staff is expected to follow, and in case of any legal issues, the handbook can act as a savior and a guide. A good employee handbook is quite clear on all the necessary contents and should be no longer than 40 pages. Lengthy employee handbooks are not quite effective and don’t get the required attention. Your handbooks should be precise and concise so that their prime purpose is fulfilled. Employee handbooks are a point of reference for employees when they are unsure of how to deal with a particular workplace situation. It is particularly important for small businesses as it reduces the time that is wasted in solving HR issues and puts an end to all confusion. With the help of any company handbook builder, you can create a handbook in the most efficient manner without facing any ambiguities.

What should an employee handbook not include

There is certain content in your employee handbook that can get you into trouble if included. So while drafting your employee handbook, be careful to not discuss the following topics in it:

  • Just Cause

In at-will states like California, a cause isn’t required to terminate or discipline an employee. It’s quite evident so no need to create any confusion.

  • Permanent position

Never keep your employee under the impression that his employment is guaranteed by calling it “permanent” because it’s at will.

  • Due Process

Never guarantee a due process or something similar to it for incidents such as a grievance or disciplinary actions.

  • Probationary period

Do not use the word probation as it implies that the employee’s status will change after he completes the period. Use orientation or introductory instead as he is still employed at will.

Policies that should be included in an employee handbook

The company’s policies are the most important element of an employee handbook. Without it, the handbook is incomplete and meaningless. There are some policies that are mandatory and should be present in every company’s handbook, whether it be a small business.

Social Media and Data Privacy

As it is the era of social media, the online employee manual should specifically state that the employee has no right to policy while using work devices. They should not be allowed to download anything on a device that contains an employer’s information. They should also be told to take care of company-owned equipment which contains company data.

Wages and payroll

Employers usually work overtime more than their normal hours. It should be made clear that the employers will be paid additionally for extra hours only if those hours are approved by an employer, otherwise not. It is also to be made sure that no unnecessary and improper deduction from wages is done.

Leave Benefits

Some companies have started adding extra leaves with benefits for their business. They have provided their employees with parental leave, domestic violence leave, organ donation leave, and such with benefits by giving them pay during the leave. It helps in promoting and building a company’s name and image.


Employers must state clearly in their handbooks that they will leave to employees if they are eligible under the state acts. Furthermore, a clear statement should be made that the employees will be assessed thoroughly before granting leave and no employee will be punished for taking a leave for a legitimate reason.


In cases of retaliation claims, the handbook should clearly state that the company cannot promise on hiding the person’s identity who is making the claim. It should be written clearly that their name will be revealed on a need-to-know basis. In such a way the process will be made fair for the one making the claim and the one who is being accused of it.

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