This is something we get asked a lot. Once you’ve written an employee handbook, can you ever change it? Or is it set in stone forever? 
 
An employee handbook will always be a work in progress. Everything changes, and the first draft of a handbook that you give out to your employees could be riddled with formatting mistakes. Always bear in mind that the handbook is important, but it’s not the end of the world if it’s not perfect. Employees will look to their handbook when they aren’t sure of their rights, or the kinds of things they are expected to do at work – which is why you should endeavour to constantly update the handbook and ensure all of the information inside of it is correct. 
Review It Frequently 
 
Frequently review your organisation’s current employee handbook. Try to look over it at least once a year, or whenever there is a major change in your business. This will keep the information in your handbook up-to-date, which is especially important if you have multiple employee handbooks across the different sectors of your business. Cater to each of your employees and help them understand their role and their rights while they’re working with you and your company. 
 
Tailor It To Your Company 
 
The overall purpose of an employee handbook is to compile the policies, procedures, and behavioural expectations of an employee who is working at your establishment. These policies etc. will vary depending on the type of establishment, and the role of the employee. It’s not uncommon for a place of work to have multiple handbooks for different employee roles, or to have one large handbook that is given to everyone employed there. Generally, to save on paper, most handbooks are now digital. This makes them easier to update, handle, and it’s nearly impossible for employees to lose them. 
 
Don’t Forget GDPR 
 
If there is one thing that you should remember when changing an employee handbook, it is that it is not a document that you, as an employer, need the consent of your employees to change. The employee handbook is purely informational, and completely separate to an employee’s contract of employment or any other paperwork they may have signed. The best way to ensure that there are no issues, you should consider putting a clause into the employment contract that states you are able to make amendments to the employee handbook at any time. This will halt any legal problems before they can start and will ensure that your employees understand that the handbook may be changed from time to time. 
 
Of course, you should always take care when editing the employee handbook. It’s easier to get others to adhere to new policies and regulations when you talk to them before making any actual changes. Remember that any policies should be reasonable, and, above all else, completely non-discriminatory. Once you’ve made your changes, always notify every employee of all new edits in the handbook, and where to find them. Make sure all of your staff members take time to read the changes, and that they acknowledge that they have completely understood them. Always be available to talk about changes with any of your employees. 
 
If you’re not sure how to handle changing your employee handbook, or what you need to do to change it, we can help. At AJ HR Solutions, we work with businesses of all shapes and sizes to help them understand what needs to be in their employee handbooks, create their first ever employee handbooks and then keep them updated. If you would like to know more, please just get in touch with us today. 
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