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Staff Handbooks

Staff handbooks (also known as employee handbooks) set out the policies and procedures in place within an organisation, and act as supporting documentation to an employment contract. The policies contained in a handbook can be either contractual or non-contractual.

Employers should ensure that their employees are provided with access to the staff handbook upon commencement of their employment. Handbooks can be used as an aid to induction and training of new employees, but also assist in meeting an employer’s legal obligations by providing written information to employees.

Key Terms

Staff handbooks may include policies on:

  • Equal opportunities, including anti-harassment, bullying and general equal opportunities best practice;
  • Termination of employment, including redundancy and retirement policies;
  • Day to day conduct within the organisation, including dress code, data protection, sickness absence and expenses;
  • The working environment, including health & safety, no-smoking and whistleblowing;
  • Performance management, including policies for disciplinary procedures and grievances;
  • Leave entitlements, including maternity, paternity and adoption, compassionate and bereavement leave, and flexible or home working.

The handbook may also contain forms including sickness self-certification, equal opportunities monitoring and requests for family leave.

If you would like to get in touch with our employment team, please contact us on 020 7234 0200 or

Anthony Purvis

Partner, Employment Law

Anthony offers succinct and practical advice to both businesses and individuals on various issues including redundancies, unfair and wrongful dismissals claims, unlawful discrimination, grievance and disciplinary procedures, TUPE, staff handbooks, contracts of employment, restrictive covenants and their enforcement, settlement agreements and the employment aspects of corporate reorganisations or sales. Read more...

Matthew Hodson 

Associate, Employment Law

Matthew handles all types of employment matters. He represents and advises employees and employers on issues involving whistleblowing, discrimination, redundancies, unfair and wrongful dismissal, TUPE, Working Time Regulations, restrictive covenants and settlement agreements.  Read more...