As a smaller Jersey business do I need an employment handbook?
Jersey employee handbooks are not a legal necessity, but every business should consider having one. Many Jersey start ups and Jersey smaller businesses choose not to have one. However, there are laws regarding certain workplace information that you must inform your employees about, and creating an employee handbook is a good way of ensuring that you cover all pertinent information. It is a great way to outline your business culture and get everybody on the same page.
What is an employee handbook?
In essence, a Jersey employment handbook is a guide for employees to reference business information, policies, procedures and expectations. A handbook will assist you as the employer, in communicating your Jersey business policies regarding employment, conduct and behaviour, compensation and other policies and procedures you follow. In other words it outlines what is expected in the workplace.
An employee handbook provides your staff with company guidelines, policies, procedures and employee expectations. It can be a valuable tool in building a sense of belonging with your employees. It also evidences the workplace information that you must inform your employees about, and creating an employee handbook is a good way of ensuring that you cover all pertinent information.
What should be in an employment handbook?
An employee handbook outlines basic information, including expectations for employees and company policies and procedures. It should be detailed enough that your employees understand what is expected of them but not so lengthy that they are too overwhelmed to read it.
In general terms your employee handbook should, at the very least, cover the following headline topics:
- Culture – the business history, vision and mission statement.
- Policies – terms of employment, hours,sick leave, compensation, holidays etc that are not covered in the employment contract together with dress code, harassment and discrimination, disciplinary action, rights, resignation and termination.
- Benefits – holidays, bonus etc.
Ultimately the information you decide to put in your handbook will depend on your industry, and the needs, goals and size of your business.
When should I provide an employment handbook to my employees?
It is usual for all new employees to receive a handbook when they first start. It introduces new employees to your business’ culture and also ensures that you cover all pertinent information. Problems can be avoided by providing Employees with a handbook as it gives a clear idea of what is expected of them.
Everyone in your business should have a copy of your employee handbook. The employee handbook should be broad enough to be applicable to every employee, regardless of the job description. Everyone needs to have access to your employee handbook, including new members of staff, part-time workers, full-time personnel, management and everyone in between.
What is important is to ensure that your employment handbook is kept up-to-date with regard to Jersey employment law and tailored to address the needs of your business.
As a Jersey employer is there actually any benefit to my business producing a handbook?
One significant advantage of having a handbook is that it can help ensure your employees are compliant with policy and procedure. If you clearly outline your company’s policies and procedures, and consistently enforce them, you are less likely to run into legal liabilities down the line.
An employment handbook can also provide employees with information about objectives and leadership styles, as well as management best practices, to foster healthy management-employee relationships.
The Jersey employment handbook should be designed as a referral point should issues arise, regarding employer/employee relations. Whether it be a health and safety issue, redundancy or misconduct, a well-written employee handbook will assist all parties in outlining how the relevant process will be followed. It also follows that if you have an employee handbook, but as a Jersey employer you don’t follow the policies and procedures, you can end up facing difficulty in the Jersey employment tribunal should an employee bring proceedings against your business.
Do you require assistance creating or updating an employee handbook for your business?
It is recommended that every Jersey business has an employee handbook, even if the business only has one employee.To review your existing employee handbook or to get advice on creating an employee handbook contact our employment specialists today.