Should employees have their own employee handbook copy?

Some employers keep the employee handbook to themselves, only available to an employee on request instead of issuing each employee with their own employee handbook copy . I suggest that is a bad idea. Here is why….

The law

The Employment Rights Act 1996 requires certain information, such as disciplinary rules, to be “reasonably accessible” to the employee. If those are contained in a document, such as the Employee Handbook then that needs to be easy for the employee to access.

Employer brand

Being a “good” employer motivates employees, helps attract good ones and enhances your reputation. “Hiding” the Employee Handbook may be counter productive.

Reducing the administrative burden

If employees can access information for themselves, such as maternity rights, then you don’t need to look these up on their behalf.

Protecting your business

It is wise for employees to have an outlet if they have issues with you as their employer. Easy access to a grievance procedure, harassment and bullying or even public interest disclosure policies can all protect you. You will want to know if things are going wrong before the point of no return.

Providing access is easy

If you put your Employee Handbook online everyone can have access without the need for printing, distribution or continually issuing updates.

Written for SME’s, Employer Solutions’ staff handbooks are branded and customised to your business and published online allowing for access anytime, anywhere. With a speedy turnaround it’s never been easier to have your employee handbook box ticked – get in touch to find out more.

Malcolm Martin FCIPD

Author Human Resource Practice

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