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Updating Your Employee Handbook

Knowledge Center / Blog

Updating Your Employee Handbook

By The Employer Group - Jan 02, 2024

With the new year upon us, now is the time to consider looking at your employee handbook and giving it a refresh or creating a handbook if you don’t currently have one. An employee handbook is critical to establishing management rights and responsibilities, and for employees to know what’s expected of them and what they should expect from the employer. It’s an important tool in establishing a positive, compliant workplace, and in determining what employment actions can and should be taken.

How often should you update your handbook?

You should review your handbook yearly at a minimum and adjust and change your handbook every two to three years, as needed. Local, state, and federal regulations may force you to do this more often if new laws are enacted or current laws are revised.

Why is it important to update your handbook?

  • State and Local Regulations Change. It is important to notify your employees when state and local regulations change and updating your handbook or adding addenda is a best practice to share these changes.
  • Federal Law Change. The federal laws are changing, and it is important to update these changes in the handbook, that way you are compliant with federal regulations.
  • Changes in Company Policies. Company policies may change throughout the year, and sometimes you may forget to add them to the handbook. It is important to go through and make sure those changes are included in the handbook yearly.
  • Social Change. It is important that you review your handbook to make sure that your handbook aligns with the shifts in society, including language related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), company culture, and employees’ expectations of their employers and vice versa.

Why is it important to demonstrate that the employee received the handbook?

A signed acknowledgement form is important documentation and evidence that the employee has received the handbook and is aware of the workplace rules. This could be a large piece of evidence if there were ever a dispute or disciplinary issue.

Why is it important to review the handbook with employees?

A handbook is only useful if the employee and your supervisors and managers can demonstrate that they understand the policies. Prior to rolling out a handbook or revision, review the policies with supervisors and managers so they understand what’s expected of them when it comes to supporting the company culture and expectations. Employers should review handbook policies and other operational policies with employees upon hire and after any revisions so they understand the information and have the opportunity to ask clarifying questions about the stated expectations.

Please reach out to The Employer Group if you have any questions regarding your handbook or if you need help creating one!



This information does not constitute legal advice.

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