The start of every New Year typically brings out the To-Do calendars for the year ahead. New budgets are rolled out and distributed, new positions and hiring strategies are decided upon, new benefit plans are implemented and in some cases, the annual review process will begin.
What many businesses forget to check on is the health of their handbooks and policies. Handbooks are the bedrock of employer and employee accountability, and the foundation for protecting your most important assets: your employees.
As new employment laws are enacted every year, this can easily make older handbooks out of date and ineffective, rather like an old forgotten rain jacket that once did the trick but is now worn and needs replacement. The more frequently an organization’s handbook is updated, the better able the business is to mitigate any potential risk or exposure.
For example, most companies in the past year since the pandemic and COVID-19 virus made remote work not only a necessity for some but even commonplace, the organization’s policy may need to either be created or updated with the new guidelines for employees to follow.
And certainly, 2020 had its share of leave law changes that impact nearly all employees at a federal level, but some state and city mandates, as well. All of these, including the new health and safety guidelines, while some may be temporary should be updated to reflect the latest federal and state workplace guidance.
Other very critical legal changes that must be considered on an annual basis are the Anti-Discrimination policies found in the handbook. In 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court modified the language and definition of “sex” under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to include gender identity and sexual orientation. So, if your handbook hasn’t been updated to include that language, it’s wise to do that now.
As the saying goes, there’s no better time than the present. By committing to an annual review of your handbook policies you will be making a commitment to your entire business. Certainly, there is a lot to consider when modifying or creating a handbook, and the HR Consultants at JB Consulting Systems are here to help.
JB Consulting Systems prepares customized employee handbooks in accordance with HR best practices. This provides your business ease of mind knowing you have an excellent communication tool to start your new hires off right and establish positive employee relations with your current employees.
Contact us today for more information on how we can help your business take the next step in either creating or updating your company’s handbook.