It depends if your Staff Handbook is 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?