Do I need an employee handbook?

Why is an employee handbook important?

Hi, Donna here. It’s time for our 52 top tips again. These are from a pack of playing cards that we’ve developed. They contain all the normal suites, but on each card, you’ve actually got a top tip for employers to help you when you’re dealing with your staff. 

So today we’re onto the two of hearts. We’re talking about employee relations here, and this one is all about the employee handbook. So I’m going to read it for you:

Only really needed when you’re approaching 10 employees, the employee handbook provides the details of all your policies and procedures. As a small business, the culture and ethos of a company is easy to communicate to new employees. But as the business grows, especially if you’re more than one site, the employee handbook becomes a tool for effective management, ensuring consistency across your business and between managers. 

The handbook must reflect the law, but it must also reflect the culture, aims, and objectives of your business and be tied into your contracts of employment. Very often people will develop their contracts of employment and employee handbooks at different times. That’s quite normal for small businesses, but actually you need to make sure that they support each other. If you’ve got one policy in your contract of employment and it’s contradicted in your handbook, if you ever have a problem and need to rely on that policy, even if you need to try and explain it to start, you’re going to get stuck. So it’s really important when developing both your contract of employment and your employee handbook, to make sure that they match.

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