Staff Handbook

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A staff handbook is an internal document which shares the employer's rules and policies which employees need to follow. A staff handbook is not a legal requirement but is a great way for an employer to clarify procedures to new employees for topics such as equality, smoking at work, expenses, absence and disciplinary and grievance procedures. These employment policies are usually referenced briefly in a contract of employment so expanding these terms in the staff handbook is useful for employees. Legislate allows employers to tailor a staff handbook template to their needs. This page explains the key terms of a staff handbook and how to create one with Legislate.

What should be in a staff handbook template?

There are a number of company policies which should be included in a staff handbook such as:

  • Hours: when should the employee work and when can they take lunch breaks and annual leave? Does the company have a flexible working policy?
  • Absence and sickness: how should an employee report their absences and keep their line manager informed on an expected return date? Does the company have a sick pay policy?
  • Expenses: what can be expensed and how?
  • Conflict of Interest: what is a conflict of interest and how to report one?
  • Confidentiality: what are an employee's duties?
  • Appearance: is there a dress code?
  • Smoking, alcohol policy and other substances at work: Legislation in the UK restricts smoking and the use of substances so these restrictions will apply during work time and over a period prior to work where effects carry over to the workplace.
  • Travel: what travel can be reimbursed by the employer and the process for approving travel expenses.
  • Training: Will the employee need to go through additional training?
  • Equal Opportunities policy, Bullying and Harassment: since the Equality Act 2010, Employers have obligations towards both job applicants and employees to offer equal opportunities and not discriminate against protected characteristics.
  • Computer, email and internet use: whether an employee accesses company material on a company or personal computer, procedures must be followed.
  • Receipt of gifts: when can an employee receive or give gifts?
  • Bribery And Other Corrupt Behaviour: protect against these practices by defining what a bribe is and how this type of gross misconduct will be investigated and punished.
  • Data Security: employers have data and IT security obligations to protect the company and its clients data.
  • Data Protection And Access To Information: Employers have a statutory requirement to comply with the Data Protection Act and must implement a formal Data Protection Policy for their staff.
  • Health and safety policy and duty of care: employers are legally bound to provide a workplace that is free from risks and hazards.
  • Termination of employment: this section of the staff handbook details the process the employer will follow prior to the cessation of employment and redundancy of an employee as well as notice periods for terminating the employment.
  • Disciplinary procedure: an employee’s employment can be terminated by the employer for acts of gross misconduct.
  • Grievance policy: a grievance procedure is a set of steps an employee can follow to make a complaint about a problem, which is then investigated and resolved.
  • Parental leave: is there a company policy beyond the statutory policies for paternity and maternity leave.

Benefits of creating your employee handbook template with Legislate

Legislate is an easy-to-use contract creation and management platform which allows you to create custom lawyer-approved contracts in minutes by answering simple questions. Creating your staff handbook with Legislate offers a number of benefits to both the employer and employees:

  • Legislate staff handbook contains the essential suite of policy templates to ensure that your small business is compliant with the employment law
  • Legislate offers more than just a staff handbook. Centralise your employment, staff handbook and other documents in one place so that you can benefit from Legislate's ability to organise and search documents.
  • From the employee's perspective, they now have one place to find their key employment documents.
  • As an employer, know at any point in time what the aggregate statistics of your employment documents represent so that you can make key HR decisions
  • Save time and energy creating legal documents so that you can focus on your core business activities
  • Legislate's library of contracts is growing every week. Build custom NDAs, employment and consultancy contracts in a couple of clicks and offer a professional contracting experience to your counter parties.


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How to create a staff handbook with Legislate?

To create a staff handbook with Legislate, read our tutorial and then simply register an account to select the staff handbook from the list of available contracts!

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