What Should Be in My Employee Handbook?

by Paul Devlin


An employee handbook is an essential resource for any business. It’s like a friendly guide, helping employees navigate their way around the organization and understand its values and policies. So, what should be in this handy guide? Let’s break it down:


  • Welcome Note: Start with a warm welcome. It’s like opening the door and inviting employees into your business family. This section should include an overview of your company’s history, mission, and core values.

  • Working Conditions: Here’s where you talk about the nitty-gritty of the job. Things like working hours, break times, overtime policy, and remote work options. It’s all about setting clear expectations.

  • Code of Conduct: This is your company’s rulebook. It covers everything from dress code to internet use, to how to treat each other. Remember, it’s not about being strict, but about fostering a positive, respectful environment.

  • Compensation and Benefits: Everyone likes to talk about money, right? In this section, outline your pay schedule, performance review and raise process, and the benefits you offer.

  • Leave Policies: We all need time off now and then. Be sure to explain your policies on vacation days, sick leave, maternity/paternity leave, and any other types of absence.

  • Equal Opportunity Statement: This is a big one. It’s your promise that you’re committed to providing equal opportunities for everyone, regardless of race, gender, religion, or anything else.

  • Harassment and Discrimination Policy: Make it clear that harassment and discrimination have no place in your company. Lay out the procedures for reporting such incidents.

  • Safety and Security: Keep your employees safe by outlining your workplace safety procedures, emergency exits, and security measures.

  • Termination Policy: It’s not a fun topic, but it’s important. Explain the circumstances under which an employee might be let go, and the process that would follow.


In a nutshell, your employee handbook should cover all the basics of working at your company. But remember, it’s not just about rules and policies. It’s also about creating a positive, supportive environment where everyone feels valued and respected. If you are looking for some additional help, you will find templates in our HR Resource Center. Ask your friendly APlus CSS to create a log-in for you if you don’t have one already.

This article does not constitute legal advice. For more information please reference related articles in your APlus HR resource center or ask your friendly APlus CSS about our On-demand HR live advice line where, for a small fee, you can be connected to a certified HR advisor. 

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