Making sure everyone is on the same page
At Kidwells, we have a great deal of experience in Employment Law. We are no strangers to the pitfalls employers encounter in not having the necessary systems in place. These systems are a requirement by employment legislation in order to protect the rights of employees. If a business fulfills the necessary requirements from the outset, employment tribunal claims are avoidable.
The designated team at Kidwells can provide you with necessary tools and ongoing support to ensure the smooth running of your business and protect the rights of both the employer and employee.
Important things to consider:
- The handbook should be guidance only and non-contractual. However, you may wish some policies to be contractual.
- Make sure you include all relevant information. Don’t leave space for ambiguity and assume an employee will know about a specific policy.
- Keep up to date with the latest employment legislation and the news. For example, in recent years social media has been the latest craze to cause problems for employers. It is definitely worth making a social media policy.
Support and guidance with every stage
An employee handbook is not a legal requirement but is a good practice. It is useful because it clearly details helpful information to employees. Additionally, as an employer, you can also rely on it if disciplinary action is necessary or an issue turns contentious. Also, it acts as evidence to justify the business’s actions. However, they do provide guidance on the fair consistent treatment of employees which aims to reduce the risk of litigation by settling disputes before they start.
Our solicitors can assist you with;
- HR and Employment Law Audit.
- Creation and updating of staff handbooks.
- Review and amendment of Disciplinary Procedures.
- Assistance with Disciplinary procedures.
- Advice, Assistance and Representation for Employment Tribunals.
Employee handbooks are not one size fits all. You should tailor policies and procedures to a business’s individual needs. The information should be clear and helpful to all employees. In addition, it needs to include issues that may arise and the solution the company is providing. This should make the standards you expect of all employees clear. Furthermore, it can outline what actions you may take if standards aren’t met.
There are so many different details you can include in an employee handbook. Firstly you should introduce the company and set out its aims and ethos. Moreover, it should explain your company’s employment policies. This includes annual leave policy, bring your own device, data protection, dress code, equal opportunities policy, flexible and homeworking policy, pensions policy and also sickness absence.
If your business experiences employment disputes employee handbooks are very useful. They act as a source of evidence for the policies and procedures you lay out for your business. Also, they can be shown in a disciplinary tribunal to aid the decision making process.
Our solicitors can also defend you and your business at employment tribunal claims. In addition, we can pursue or defend breach of contract claims such as wrongful dismissal. This would take place in County Court or High Court. Finally, we can apply for injunctions against employees where necessary.
When drafting or updating employee handbooks there are certain tips you should take into account;
- You should seek legal advice to ensure that you include everything and follow the most up-to-date employment legislation.
- Regularly reviewing your handbook is important.
- Make sure it’s clear and easy to understand. Also, eliminate being ambiguous and set the policies and procedures out.
- Make sure all employees are aware of the employee handbook and know where to find it.
- Finally, decide whether you want the employee handbook to form part of the employee’s contract of employment.