If you are starting a new business, you need an employee handbook. The only exception is if you do not intend to take on employees.
Employee handbooks provide clarity for those you hire and yourself. Putting things in writing reduces the chances of errors, problems and lawsuits due to misunderstandings between you.
Here are some things you need to include:
1. What you expect of your employees
If you expect employees to arrive and leave at a certain hour, or to wear a particular uniform, then make it clear here. You can also outline the attitude they need to approach their daily tasks with.
2. What they get in return
This is not their contract (and you want to clarify this in the handbook), so you do not need to include wage details. You should include holiday entitlement, overtime policies, family medical leave entitlement, training entitlements and the like.
3. What you won’t accept
Making your stance on racism, bullying and so forth clear is crucial. You should back that up with real-life training. You also need to set out the routes workers can take to report unacceptable behavior (whether toward themselves or others). Failing to make all this clear could leave you vulnerable to a lawsuit if something does slip your attention.
A handbook is no use if people don’t read it. You cannot force them to do so, but you can get them to sign to say they have, as you don’t want them claiming you never gave them a copy during a court case. Failing to adhere to the promises you make in it could put you at risk, so get legal help when creating it to ensure you don’t write anything that could harm your business.