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What do most employee handbooks leave out?

On Behalf of | Sep 24, 2020 | Employment Law |

Employee handbooks often feel like a stack of paper that no one ever looks at. Often, employees seem to stash them away in their desk and do not reference them again, until they have a question.

Your employee handbook empowers your staff to know your policies and procedures in a variety of situations. When employees understand your expectations, they are ready to support your mission by following the rules.

An incomplete employee handbook can make compliance challenging. Here are some of the topics most employee handbooks leave out.


Many employers see their handbook as something they can “set and forget.” Labor and employment laws change frequently, and your employee handbook should address these matters in ways relevant to the current law.

Rewriting the handbook can be cumbersome and is often unnecessary. When you need to update the manual, simply issue an update that your employees can acknowledge and add to their copy.

However, you should take the time to issue a copy of the handbook that includes all updates you made from the last version. Remind employees that they should destroy past copies and refer to the latest version.


There are certain policies that you may take for granted. It may seem clear to you, as an employer, that the handbook does not create a contract for employment.

Disclaimers discussing at-will employment and other potential issues are critical for your ability to enforce your employment policies.

It is essential to review your employee handbook regularly to ensure your staff has a resource for their questions and so that you can avoid some of the common mistakes employers make.