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Simply fill in the questionnaire to automatically generate your legally compliant employee handbook of workplace policies.
✔ Customise 40+ policies and procedures
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Compliant, easy-to-read policies for your team, all in one place
By law, all UK employers need to have certain policies. The SeedLegals Staff Handbook template makes it easy to create your policies and bring them together in one easily accessible Handbook.
- Holiday and annual leave
- Grievance procedure
- Disciplinary procedure
- Health & Safety policy
- Company pension scheme
- 35+ other optional workplace policies
Unlimited help with company policies
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Need some help? Not sure which policies and procedures are required by law? Our team of experts are on hand to chat online, by phone or video call.
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Already created your Staff Handbook? Things change so it’s smart to regularly review and update your policies. After your 7 day free trial, you'll need a Standard or Plus membership - log in, hit edit, make the changes and then share with your team.
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FAQs - Staff Handbook
Frequently asked questions about employee handbooks and company policies.
What is a Staff Handbook?Your Staff Handbook contains your company policies and procedures. In one handy guide, you bring together policies required by law such as pay, pensions and holidays, and ‘good to have’ information such as your mission statement and company values.
Every employee should be given a copy of your company policy handbook when they join. This could be a paper copy but nowadays it’s normal to send them a digital copy or give them access to the Handbook as a digital file.
Whenever you update your Handbook, you’ll need to give or send staff the new version.
A Staff Handbook sets out your policies on workplace issues including your Rules of Conduct, pay, holiday entitlement, sickness, parental leave, disciplinary procedures, and what will happen if a staff member is dismissed. It also contains your Health & Safety policy as well as your Diversity and Equal Opportunities policy.
The Staff Handbook is a useful guide for everyone who works for you. It helps people understand clearly what’s expected of them, and what they can expect from you.
You can easily create a Staff Handbook for your company using the SeedLegals Staff Handbook template. Fill in the simple questionnaire to add and customise more than 40 policies and procedures. It’s as easy as that - your Handbook is generated and ready to share in minutes.
A Staff Handbook can also be called:
- Company Handbook
- Company Policy Handbook
- Employee Handbook
- Policies and Procedures
Why does a company need a Staff Handbook?A Staff Handbook is a useful way to communicate all of your company’s policies and procedures to your employees. It isn’t a legal requirement for UK businesses to have a Staff Handbook but it’s good practice to have your company policies in one place and accessible to all members of staff.
A Staff Handbook helps new employees adapt quickly to the way you run your business because it sets out what you expect from them. And with all the information in one handy guide, managers can quickly answer questions, give the right guidance and deal with workplace issues without always having to involve you or your HR team.
- The Staff Handbook sets out your standards
Your company policies are in one document so everyone knows what’s expected of them.
- The Staff Handbook makes it easy to find information
When your company policies and procedures are together in one document, your team knows where to find the information.
- A Staff Handbook could reduce the risk of litigation
Your Handbook sets out clearly the rights, obligations and expectations on both sides so it could be invaluable if you have an employee dispute.
- A Staff Handbook saves time for you and HR
No need to constantly field lots of questions – your staff and their managers can refer to the Handbook for the answers.
- The Staff Handbook sets out your standards
Does a startup or small business need a Staff Handbook?It isn't a specific legal requirement for UK businesses to have a Staff Handbook, but it's important to make sure your employees know your company's policies and procedures.
By creating a Staff Handbook, reviewing it regularly and updating it whenever you make changes, you're making sure that everyone in the company knows what's expected of them, and what their rights and obligations are.
Some policies are required by law, such as:
- health and safety procedures
- disciplinary procedures
- grievance rules
- pension information, if it isn't already covered in employment contracts
As an employer, you're required to put these in writing and make them accessible to employees.
Other policies aren't required by law, but it's still useful to have a guide for your staff to refer to. These could include:
- dress code
- company culture
- Mission Statement
- Value Statement
- key business objectives
A Staff Handbook should be read in conjunction with an employee's Employment Agreement. Your Handbook can re-state the policies contained in a contract of employment, but it shouldn't replace it.
See also: Why does a company need a Staff Handbook?
Is a Staff Handbook legally binding?It depends if your Staff Handbook is contractual or non-contractual. You need to state which you intend it to be.
If you've expressly stated that your Handbook is contractual, it's treated as though all of the policies within it are part of the terms of your employees' Employment Agreement. If this is the case, your employee can negotiate those policies but when they're agreed, they are legally binding terms.
This works both ways - it means that the company is also strictly bound by the policies in the Handbook and if the company fails to adhere to its own policies, the company could be sued for breach of contract.
If you state clearly that your Staff Handbook is non-contractual, that means that its contents don't form part of the terms of your employees' Employment Agreement. You can then alter or change your policies without needing consent from your employees.
For more flexibility, make your Staff Handbook non-contractual. This allows you to react quickly to any changes in the law. But even if it's non-contractual, your employees still have an implied duty to abide by its terms.
Remember: It's important to state whether your Staff Handbook is contractual or non-contractual. You should also state clearly that you might need to amend your policies and procedures occasionally to make sure they stay relevant and up to date.
When you create a Staff Handbook on SeedLegals, it is non-contractual. This is because we believe it's best that the specific terms of an employee's contractual relationship with the company are contained in only one document - their Employment Agreement, while the Staff Handbook gives important complementary guidance on their day-to-day work activities.
See also: Can an employer change their Employee Handbook?
Which company policies are included in a SeedLegals Staff Handbook template?Here's the full list of company policies and procedures included in a SeedLegals Employee Handbook template.
Many of them are optional – simply fill in the questionnaire and your Staff Handbook is automatically generated from your answers. Then you can store it securely and share it online via SeedLegals.
- Emergency Contact Details
- Dress and Grooming Codes
- Pay Policy
- Equal Opportunities
- Anti-harassment and Bullying policy
- Sickness Absence Policy
- Rules of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedure
- Grievance Procedure
- Anti-slavery and Human Trafficking
- Antenatal and Adoption Appointments
- Maternity and Adoption
- New Parent Leave
- Shared Parental Leave for Birth and Adoption
- Parental Leave
- Time off for Dependants
- Compassionate Leave
- Flexible Working
- Career Break Policy
- Time Off for Training
- Time off for Public duties
- Adverse Weather and Travel Disruptions
- Health and Safety
- Workplace Stress Policy
- Relationships at Work
- Email, Internet Use, and IT Policies
- Social Media
- Alcohol and Drugs
- Smoking in the workplace
- Company Benefits
- Additional Items - This is a miscellaneous category where you can include other terms specific to your company.
If you need any help while you're creating your Staff Handbook, hit the chat button to message our friendly experts.
What company policies should be covered in a Staff Handbook?There are a number of policies that are required in law, and these should always be contained in the Handbook for your employees. These include but aren't limited to:
- Disciplinary procedure
- Health & Safety
- Pension information, if not already covered in employment contracts
But you could also cover:
- Rules of Conduct
- Dress code
- Sickness policy
- Parental leave
- Harassment and bullying
- Bereavement/compassionate leave
- Equal Opportunities
- Time off for public duties
- Time off for training
- Workplace stress policy
- Relationships at work
- Company benefits
- Your company's Mission Statement
- Value Statement
The SeedLegals customisable template for Staff Handbook gives you options for more than 40 workplace issues. It's easy to build the Handbook to suit your company - simply fill in the questionnaire and your Staff Handbook is automatically generated using your answers. Then you can save the Handbook securely and share it online with your team, or download if you need to.
When should you give an employee a copy of their Staff Handbook?Ideally, you should make sure that an employee receives a copy of your company's Staff Handbook as soon as they join the company, or during their induction process. This gives the new starter the opportunity to read the Handbook thoroughly and ask questions if they need to.
If you update your Staff Handbook, you should re-issue the new version to all members of staff or make it available online, for example through your internal workspace or portal.
What’s the best way to make sure every member of staff has access to the Staff Handbook?It depends on your company and your staff. You can upload the latest version of your Staff Handbook to your internal online workspace or portal, save it as a PDF and send it by email, or even issue a paper copy.
If you've created your Staff Handbook on SeedLegals, you can share it with your staff via SeedLegals.
It's a good idea to ask your team members to acknowledge they've received the Staff Handbook and that they've read it in full. This is particularly important if the Handbook contains contractual terms. (See also: Is a Staff Handbook legally binding?)
It's your responsibility to make sure that your staff are aware of the policies in the Handbook. If you're taken to an employment tribunal and you haven't done this, it could cause problems.
How often should you review your Company Policy Handbook?It's good practice to review your Staff Handbook and your company policies once a year.
You should also be aware of any changes to employment law and whether they could affect your policies and procedures.
If you're making changes to contractual policies, you'll need to consult with staff and get their agreement first. If you don't, you could be liable for claims of breach of contract.
If you're making changes to non-contractual policies, you can do this without getting consent from your employees.
What makes a really great Employee Handbook?Good question! We’re happy to hear you want to make your company’s Handbook the best it can be.
The Company Handbook must always contain key policies and procedures, and set out the rights, obligations and expectations of both the employer and the employee.
You can also include other useful information specific to your company. You might want to include your Mission Statement, core values and company benefits. And you could also have sections about your company history and culture. It’s best to keep these sections snappy and interesting.
Your Staff Handbook should be clearly written, unambiguous and easy to understand. You want your employees to read it and refer to it, not to feel overwhelmed by it.
While it’s important for the Staff Handbook to comprehensively cover your important policies, we think a really great Staff Handbook is also quick to write and update, and easy to share - like the Staff Handbook you can create with our customisable template.
See also: What company policies should be covered in a Staff Handbook?
What is the easiest way to create a Staff Handbook?The easiest way to create a Staff Handbook is to use a Staff Handbook template. With the SeedLegals template, you can choose and customise more than 40 workplace policies and procedures.
It's easy to create your company's Staff Handbook - simply fill in the questionnaire and the document is automatically generated from your answers.
It's free to get started - you can try SeedLegals free for 7 days. Register then log into SeedLegals, go to Policies > Staff Handbook. If you need any help, hit the chat button to message our friendly experts. When your document is ready, you can share it online with your employees.
You can create a Staff Handbook on a 7 day free trial or with our Standard or Plus memberships.
Best of all, we store your Staff Handbook securely for as long as you need. Go to Policies to view or download your Handbook and click the pencil icon to edit.
What should an employee handbook NOT include?While there are certain policies that a Staff Handbook should include, these will be company-wide policies that relate to all staff. It must not contain anything specific to individual employees, such as salary details or individual flexible working arrangements.
It's important that your Staff Handbook is properly drafted and clearly written. If it's unclear or ambiguous, it can leave you open to legal action.
How do I update my company staff handbook?The Federation of Small Businesses suggests that you review your Staff Handbook at least once a year.
There are three parts to the process of updating your Staff Handbook:
Gather information about changes to employment law and any other changes you'd like to make to the policies and go through the whole document to highlight terms affected.
Delete terms no longer required, update existing terms, add new terms.
Re-distribute your updated Staff Handbook to all employees.
If you used the SeedLegals template to create your Staff Handbook, your customised document is stored securely in our system so you can easily update it. To edit it, you'll need to be subscribed to our Standard or Plus memberships. Log into SeedLegals, go to Policies > Staff Handbook and click the pen icon to edit the terms.
After that, you'll need to share the updated version with all your employees.
Can an employer change their Employee Handbook?If a Staff Handbook is contractual, it forms part of the terms of an employee's contract of employment. If that's the case, then an employer can only change the terms if the employee agrees to them.
If the Staff Handbook is non-contractual, then an employer can change the terms without getting formal consent from employees.
Your Staff Handbook should state whether it's contractual or non-contractual. It's also important for the Handbook to state that you may amend the policies and procedures occasionally to make sure they stay relevant and up to date. When you create a Staff Handbook on SeedLegals, it contains both these important clarifications.
See also: Is a Staff Handbook legally binding?
How much should I pay for an employee handbook?You could pay a lawyer or an HR specialist to draft your company policies. But it could cost thousands and take weeks to complete.
But there's no need - because with SeedLegals, you can quickly create your Staff Handbook by filling in a simple questionnaire. Your Staff Handbook is automatically generated using your answers. Then you can store it securely, share it with your team and edit it whenever you need to.
You can create a Staff Handbook on a 7 day free trial or with our Standard or Plus memberships. Try SeedLegals free for 7 days »
Is a Staff Handbook the same as a Policy Manual?A Staff Handbook contains a company's policies and procedures. It can also be called:
- Company Handbook
- Company Policy Handbook
- Employee Handbook
Essentially, a Staff Handbook and a Policy Manual are the same - they contain information about all of a company’s policies and procedures.
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