An Out-of-date Staff Handbook is a Liability!

karen talbot News

An organisation’s people are its greatest asset, but can also be the source of significant risk.  Having an up-to-date handbook in place, which is tailored to the company’s specific needs, contributes significantly to managing those risks.

It is vital that employers make clear the parameters within which employees should work, and the key to this is making it known what behaviour is and is not acceptable.  A key mechanism for communication is through the staff handbook, however, it also requires effective Management.

Employers may find it difficult to deal effectively with, for example, performance or disciplinary issues where there is no handbook in place.  Employers often make large cash settlements to employees/former employees who have acted inappropriately at work (e.g. by taking unauthorised absences, misconduct, etc.) because the organisation was not able to demonstrate it had appropriate policies in place to prohibit or deal with such behaviour.

In a recent European Court of Human Rights judgment, Barbulescu v Romania, a company was found not to have breached the privacy rights of an employee by monitoring his Yahoo Messenger account when it suspected him of using the account for private purposes.  It appears to have been significant that the employer had a clear policy against private use of the company’s resources.  Read more on this case here.

At TalbotPierce Consulting, we offer expert advice on all your policies & procedures, whether you want your existing documentation to be reviewed and updated or if you are just starting out and need contracts and Staff Handbook drawn up.

Our HR Assist Service offers advice which is tailored to suit your individual business, having gained an in-depth knowledge of your business.  More information about our HR Assist Service is available here.

To avail of our HR Assist Service or to discuss any other issues your business may be facing, contact us on info@talbotpierce.com or (01) 902 00 31.