Update Your HR Manual with These 8 Additions

May 26, 20157:34 am753 views

Human resources manual is a reflection of the type of business you run, including its culture and environment. It should be your written statement that demonstrates your company’s commitment to change, progress, and the welfare of its workforce.

When was the last time you updated your HR manual? Do it now. These 8 changes will make your HR manual an important recruitment and retention tool.

1. Health care

What’s your health care policy? How much will you contribute? What assistance will you provide to your employees? What will you reimburse? Will you, like so many other small businesses, have health savings accounts and, if so, how much (if anything) will you contribute?

2. Minimum wage

What is your company’s minimum wage? Will there be an increase in the coming years?

3. Paid sick days

Have you updated your sick-day policy? What constitutes a sick day? What documentation do you require? What is the procedure for calling in sick? And will you pay?

4. Pregnancy discrimination

Pregnant women often have to miss work for doctors’ appointments or just out of exhaustion. Others have their work responsibilities taken away or are passed over for other opportunities because of their condition.

Pregnancy is a form of temporary disability, making some employees unable to fulfill some of their job functions for some of the time. Your company needs a written policy reaffirming your commitment not to discriminate against someone because she is pregnant, along with what you are doing to accommodate someone in this condition.

See: HR Professionals: Are you ready for People Analytics?

5. Pay equality

2015 is the year to reassess the benefits you’re offering to married employees, regardless of their arrangement, and your company’s commitment to equal pay for all genders.

6. Driving

Imagine one of your truck drivers getting into an accident or harming someone in a company vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Hopefully you have a policy in place. But now imagine that same driver getting into an accident, because he was texting while driving your vehicle. Do you have a policy for that?

7. Interns

Does your company have an internship program? That is good. Is it paid or unpaid? How many hours are required? What are the maximum hours?

Is there a minimum age? A maximum age?

By taking on an intern, are you making an implicit promise of a future job? What is the process for selecting interns? Can an intern be fired? What constitutes discrimination against or harassment of interns?

Big companies are learning that internships come with their own potential legal challenges. Thus, be careful about this.

8. Email use

Does everyone get an email account? Is there a written policy regarding the appropriate use of that account?

Are signature lines required? Is personal email allowed for company business?

What guidelines should be followed when using a company email account? What is your definition of unacceptable behaviour?


HR manual is not a burden; it is an asset as a written communication that documents how you value your people. A great HR manual must constantly be updated, and treated as a recruitment and retention tool instead of just an afterthought.

See also: Hiring Remote Workers? Here are 5 Considerations

Source: Inc

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