Employee handbook

What is an employee handbook? What is the point of it? What can be arranged by such a handbook? And how do you make sure that the employee handbook applies to all your employees?

What is an employee handbook?
An employee handbook contains (house) regulations and employment related rules and conditions that apply within a company. In addition, the core values of the company can be included in an employee handbook. An employee handbook applies to all employees and can be considered as an addition to their employment contracts. The employee handbook is also referred to as staff regulations, office manual, code of conduct, staff policy, or company regulations. 

Why an employee handbook?
There are a number of reasons why employers should use an employee handbook, such as:

  • An employee handbook creates clarity on what is accepted within your company and what not.
  • An employee handbook creates unity and prevents discussions and/or arbitrariness as the stipulations included in the handbook apply to all employees.
  • An employee handbook gives the opportunity to introduce regulations. ¬†Regulations must be provided in writing and an employee handbook is a good document to include all regulations.
  • An employee handbook will ensure you will be in a stronger position in a potential dispute with an employee.

What is regulated by an employee handbook?
An employee handbook contains arrangements applying to all employees. In principle, you are free to determine what will be included in the handbook. In such a handbook you can, for instance, regulate the following matters:

  • Social media and Internet use
  • Rules on clothing
  • Alcohol and drugs policy / smoking policy
  • Carrying over holidays in excess of the statutory entitlement
  • Reintegration policy
  • Leave (holiday leave, parental leave, pregnancy leave, maternity leave, short-term and long-term care related leave, adoption leave)

When does an employee handbook apply?
It is advisable to have employees sign for approval the employee handbook upon employment and to refer to the handbook in their employment contracts.

More information
This newsletter provides a brief insight into Dutch employment law and the potential consequences for your Embassy. But the Embassy desk of our firm also focuses on:

  • Labour law
  • Rent law / Real estate
  • Investment / Doing business in the Netherlands
  • Matrimonial issues
  • Immunity issuesJan Dop, LL.M, Head of Embassy Desk

Jan Dop,
Head of Embassy Desk
embassydesk@russell.nl