Even if you run a small business with only a few employees, you should consider including basic HR policies and procedures in your employee handbook.
And if you don’t even have an employee handbook yet, you need to start creating one as soon as possible. As your business grows, your employee handbook will outline and clarify your business practices while providing a safe and consistent work environment for your employees.
You should add nine basic HR policies and procedures to your employee handbook. To simplify the process, HR consulting services can help you develop, customize, and implement your policies.
1. Employment classification policy
If your business employs more than one type of employee, your handbook should feature an employment classification policy.
Such a policy will help clarify your different classifications of employees and the benefits they are eligible for. For example, part-time employees might not qualify for the same benefits as full-time employees, and they need to be aware of this from the start.
2. Code of conduct
A code of conduct is necessary, as it outlines what you expect from your employees regarding different topics.
You could have a social media policy that details what employees are not allowed to post about on social media. A non-discrimination and anti-harassment policy would help protect your employees and keep your workplace safe for everyone.
Your code of conduct could also include a dress code, an alcohol and drug policy, and clear disciplinary measures for employees who don’t respect your rules and guidelines.
3. Punctuality and attendance policy
A punctuality and attendance policy makes it clear that employees are expected to be on time and ready to work for each of their scheduled shifts. It also details how employees should inform management if they can’t be there on time or if they can’t make it to work for one reason or another.
If employees can work from home, more procedures should be included to supervise their work and ensure they can request a home office allowance.
4. Meal and break policy
Of course, you want your employees to take breaks to eat and rest during the day. A meal and break policy will detail how long these breaks should be and how often they should be taken during the day.
You could state, for example, that each employee is required to take an hour-long lunch break each day and that they are allowed to take two 15-minute breaks when needed.
5. Pay and timekeeping policy
Your employees should be able to find information regarding paydays and payroll in their handbook. Detail how they will get paid, how often, and what happens if they have to work during a holiday.
You also need to list the benefits offered by your business, such as medical benefits and bonuses.
As for a timekeeping policy, it will detail how work hours will be tracked and how they will be recorded.
6. Health and safety policy
No matter your industry, you want to help keep your employees safe. Your health and safety policy needs to provide workplace safety information.
Be sure to include safety regulations and emergency and safety procedures. Your employees need to know how to prevent work-related accidents and injuries. And if an accident happens, they must know how to react and report it.
7. Confidentiality policy
If your employees want to keep some topics private, state them clearly in your basic HR policies and procedures.
Provide examples of the type of information employees must treat as confidential information. And finally, detail what the consequences would be for violating your confidentiality policy.
After all, your policies protect your employees and your business.
8. Leave and time off work policy
A leave and time off work policy is another basic HR policy you should include in your employee handbook.
Your employees must know how much time off work they can take and how and when they can request leave. You can include specific policies regarding vacation, parental leave, family leave, sick leave, and public holidays.
9. Termination policy
Finally, you need a termination policy to explain how an employee is expected to give you their resignation and how much notice they must give you.
Your termination policy could also include a list of the actions and behaviours that could result in termination.
Remember that your employee handbook’s HR policies and procedures clarify many things between you and your employees, ensure compliance, and ensure everyone is treated fairly.