The staff handbook is a practical and indispensable work of reference for recording agreements with your staff. It provides clarity about rules and guidelines, rights and responsibilities. These agreements supplement the employment contract and any collective labor agreement and apply to all staff. As an employer, you can make individual agreements with your staff in an employment contract.

There is no set format for a staff handbook. Its size can vary from just a few to hundreds of pages, depending on the company. Equally, the number of topics and/or provisions may also vary. A staff handbook that covers just one or a few topics is generally also referred to as a set of regulations or a protocol.

A staff handbook differs according to the employer. Compiling it calls for a customized approach. This is because it needs to match the employer, the staff and the type of work involved. The staff handbook is only binding for all staff within the organization if this is expressly stipulated in the employment contract. By including a clause to that effect, you can make the handbook part of an individual employment contract.

This white paper includes an example of a staff handbook. In it, we briefly outline what each topic involves. It is up to you to decide which topics apply to your company and are important to you. You can then compile the rules and agreements for each topic.