February 18, 2016    |    By

Employee handbooks are a necessary part of the hiring collateral a new hire receives. It outlines the code of conduct, policies, procedures, and culture of your company. Your employee handbook should be written in a way that reflects your culture and isn’t so overly detailed that you’d need a lawyer to sift through it. It needs to be something an employee goes to when they have a question concerning the policies of the company (which means it needs to be up to date).

Here are 4 Reasons to update your employee handbook for the New Year:

1. New Laws Come Into Affect

Every year new laws pass and they could affect your business and the employees in your business. Your employee handbook should be updated each year as new laws come in to effect that would affect both parties. Updating the handbook will help keep you and your employees apprised of things that affect them and how the business is run. There are certain policies you actually have to include in your handbook by law. Those include: Family Medical Leave policies, equal employment and non-discrimination policies, and worker’s compensation policies. You’ll need to consult federal and state laws to find out exactly what should be in your employee handbook.

2. Your Business Changes With Time

Businesses are not static. They change over time. The culture of your company when it was a one-person business is completely different from the culture of your company when you have 5 employees. As new employees come on staff, new challenges arise that you have to address that previously weren’t an issue. Your employee handbook should reflect your current company culture, not the past.

3. Your Business Grew To Be Affected By Certain Laws

As your business grows, new laws come into effect. For example, if you now employee 50 or more people within a 75 mile radius of each other, you are now required by law to abide by the Family Medical Leave Act. It’s important to know what those new additions mean for you and your employees.

4. It’s Been Years Since You’ve Looked At Your Employee Handbook

If you haven’t read your employee handbook since it was printed, now might be a good time to update it. Chances are if you haven’t read it, neither have your employees. Go through the handbook and make sure it includes everything required by law, information about your company culture, and is written in a clear, concise way that makes it easy to read.


Employee handbooks are not only required, they are informational for you and your employees. Put it on your to-do list at the beginning of every year to re-read and update your employee handbook. If you don’t know all the new laws, make sure you know someone who does and can help you update your handbook. Using an employment services company can help you stay up-to-date with everything you need to know.

Check out our Free Employer’s Guide To Hiring Your First Employee!

Make a great first impression at your next job interview.

This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created between the author and reader of this blog post, and its content should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers are urged to consult legal counsel when seeking legal advice.