Staff handbooks, contain an organisation’s workplace policies, procedures and rules which supplement and stand in addition to, contracts of employment. These not only set out clear standards of behaviour which the employer expects from its employees and provide a framework for managers dealing with workplace issues, but also contain policies which are required by law, and others which can help the employer avoid a legal liability.

For example, disciplinary and grievance policies are required by law, and an employer would be severely criticised for having no equality and diversity policy in the event of any discrimination litigation.

Usually staff handbooks are non-contractual documents containing discretionary policies and procedures. This means that an employer can change the contents with employees’ agreement and employees have no legal right to enforce matters set out in staff handbooks. Sometimes however, some or all of the contents of staff handbooks are (or, can become over time) incorporated into contracts of employment. This may be particularly important for employees as regards the redundancy policy for example. It is therefore always important to check and clarify the status of your staff handbook. This is not always an easy thing to do and taking advice is recommended.

Further details about staff handbooks, and what to include in them, can be found here.

For details of our fixed price staff handbooks, click here.

Published in…

Updates: For employers: Contracts and incentives | Staff handbooks |
Tagged with: Staff handbook |

Share this definition on

Other employment law terms

  1. ACAS Early Conciliation
  2. Adoption appointments
  3. Adoption leave
  4. Alternative dispute resolution
  5. Ante-natal care
  6. Apprenticeship
  7. Basic award
  8. Calderbank offer
  9. Collective consultation
  10. Compensatory award
  11. Compromise agreement
  12. Constructive dismissal
  13. Contract of employment
  14. Disciplinary hearing
  15. Discrimination
  16. Employee shareholder
  17. Employment tribunal
  18. ETO reason
  19. Flexible working requests
  20. Grievance
  21. Gross misconduct
  22. Harassment
  23. Industrial action
  24. Injury to feelings
  25. Maternity and parental rights
  26. Maternity leave
  27. Maternity pay
  28. Mediation
  29. Parental leave
  30. Paternity leave and pay
  31. Polkey deduction
  32. Pre-termination negotiations
  33. Protected characteristics
  34. Redundancy
  35. Restrictive covenants
  36. Settlement agreement
  37. Shared parental leave
  38. Statutory annual leave
  39. Strikes
  40. Study and training rights
  41. Summary dismissal
  42. Sunday working
  43. Trade union
  44. TUPE
  45. Unfair dismissal
  46. Unlawful deductions
  47. Victimisation
  48. Whistle-blowing
  49. Without prejudice
  50. Working Time Regulations
  51. Written particulars
  52. Wrongful dismissal
  53. Zero hours contracts