Top 5 Questions About Employee Handbooks, Answered!

Employee handbooks are a powerful tool for your organization to utilise – if you do it properly. Based on the feedback we’ve received we compiled a list of answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the creation of this vital company manual:

Are Employee handbooks required by law?

No, employee handbooks are not required by law. However, the policies outlined in this document can protect employers from unnecessary misunderstandings and, in some cases, legal disputes can be avoided altogether. Additionally, there are many benefits to being transparent about policies and procedures – including improvements in employee performance, more engaged employees, efficient and faster onboarding of new hires, a more trusting culture and more.

Is an employee handbook a legally binding contract?

An employee handbook can be considered a legally binding contract depending on how it is worded and interpreted. It is always recommended to have a lawyer review your company’s employee handbook before it is published and distributed to employees to make you aware of any potential legal implications. Additionally, we’ve listed some examples and suggestions on how to navigate potential pitfalls in our blog post “Is Our Employee Handbook Legally Binding?

Do employees actually use the handbook?

Yes! We’ve heard countless stories from professionals about the benefits of the company handbook. It is a useful document for new hires to consult while being on-boarded, and saves HR and management time by providing answers to common questions around paid leave, misclassification of employees (i.e. whether they are considered contractors or employees) and lots more. For additional tips on how to make your employee handbook more accessible and user-friendly, please refer to our blog post “6 Tips to Make an Employee Handbook that Employees will Actually Read”.

Does my small business need a handbook?

There’s a common misconception that employee handbooks and policy documents are meant for large companies only. The reality is that an employee handbook is essential for small businesses and startups with as few as four employees – especially if this organization is growing. Often, SME’s don’t have a dedicated HR department or professional. With so many online tools and templates available (like AirMason!), you don’t need HR to create an effective employee handbook. Additionally, common HR questions can be addressed in this manual, saving employees and their managers’ time and hassle. Read our blog post “Does my Small Business Need an Employee Handbook?” to learn more benefits of this manual for SME’s.

Is there an App for that?

In today’s digital age, an increasing number of tech companies are stepping out with software solutions to a variety of HR needs, and employee handbooks are no exception. Companies like AirMason offer a fully digitised, customizable template solution that can be easily published as a mobile-friendly digital handbook or download as a PDF. Digital employee handbooks like AirMason offer features such as digital signatures, password protection, team collaboration and much more.