Do you need your Staff Handbook updating in light of the new employment laws coming into force in April 2015?

A Staff Handbook sets out what is expected of employees as well as stating their entitlements. A number of different policies can be included within a handbook. Typical policies include grievance procedure, disciplinary procedure, capability procedure, social media policy, IT and communications policy, equal opportunities policy and whistleblowing policy in addition to numerous others. Additional bespoke policies can also be drafted to meet the specific needs of a business. Clear policies and procedures within a staff handbook that are implemented consistently and reviewed regularly are key to helping any business manage a productive workforce.

Due to recent changes in the law, existing staff handbooks in the workplace need to be reviewed and updated to deal with the following issues:

  • Implementation of new policies to deal with shared parental leave including a policy for shared parental leave for births and shared parental leave for adoption;
  • Update to sickness absence procedure to deal with the introduction of the Government’s Fit for Work scheme;
  • Implementation of a new policy to deal with time off for adoption appointments;
  •  Implementation of a new adoption policy or update any existing one to deal with several changes to the law from 5 April 2015; and
  • Reviewing existing maternity and paternity policies to ensure they are consistent with the adoption policy.

These updates will help you with queries you receive from employees particularly in relation to shared parental leave which is a complex area of law. In addition, it will also make clear what employees must do when requesting shared parental leave to assist in the smooth running of your business. Shared parental leave policies should include an explanation of what it is, how an employee can book dates, how an employee can change dates or cancel a period of leave, shared parental pay and arrangements for returning to work.

For a free review of your existing contracts of employments and staff handbook, please contact our specialist Commercial HR & Employment law department on 0845 050 1958, alternatively please complete an online enquiry form.