Q&A: What updates should you make to your 2022 employee handbook?

Lora Patterson, HR Advisor at Zenefits
Jan 19, 2022

Whenever we begin a new year, it’s important to review your employee handbook to see if there are any changes you need to make. After a year like 2021, it’s absolutely critical to ensure your policies are up to date. Lora Patterson, Senior People Ops Advisor at Zenefits, shares where she recommends you focus your […]

Whenever we begin a new year, it’s important to review your employee handbook to see if there are any changes you need to make. After a year like 2021, it’s absolutely critical to ensure your policies are up to date.

Lora Patterson, Senior People Ops Advisor at Zenefits, shares where she recommends you focus your attention to ensure your handbook stays current and remains a helpful resource for your employees.

After you listen:

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On this episode, you’ll hear: 

  • [00:30 – 01:00] Why you may need to add a remote work policy
  • [01:00 – 02:15] Considerations for new COVID-19 policies 
  • [02:15 – 02:30] Thoughts on updating your company holidays
  • [02:15 – 03:00] State updates to look out for

POPS Star Bio

Lora Patterson is a Senior POPS Advisor at Zenefits, where she advises clients on a broad range of human resources issues including employment laws and regulations, management practices, policies and procedures, and best practices regarding people management, development, and engagement. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

Transcript

What updates should you make to your 2022 employees?

Welcome to POPS the show that shows you how to shift from resources, paperwork to people, operations for the new world of work. By answering one question at a time

today, to help us answer your question. Here’s Lora Patterson. Senior People Ops Advisor at Zenefits whenever we begin a new year, I think it’s important for companies to take some time to review their handbook and see if there are any necessary changes they need to do. Some of these changes may be based on updates within the company or even changes to state and federal regulations.

And so I want to take some time today to review some things I would recommend, including in your handbook. The first thing I’d recommend is a policy around remote work. In the last year, we saw a very large spike in employees moving to a remote work situation. And this is why I think it’s important to have a policy that goes over things like.

Who’s eligible for this benefit. How many days can they work from home and what type of guidelines do you need them to follow when working remotely? The next thing to consider is policies around COVID-19. So we’re now entering our third year of COVID and if you haven’t already, you may want to address some company practices around.

So if your company, industry, state requires employees to be vaccinated, then I probably would have a policy that touches on this. This policy can go over things like when new hires need to submit their vaccine card and it can also review your accommodations process. So employees know how to submit a medical or religious accommodation request.

I would also think about creating a policy around COVID leave. So while your company is no longer required to provide COVID leave under the federal FCRA. You may notice that your current sick leave policies are not quite cutting it for those employees that need additional COVID leave, which is why it may be a good idea to create a COVID policy that provides paid or even unpaid leave for employees who need time to recover it.

Another thing I would consider is updating your health and safety policy to include ways the company is providing a safe space from COVID. It can also touch on what employees should do when they have been in contact with someone who has COVID or they’ve tested positive for COVID. Please note, some states actually require employees to have a COVID policy in place, and I would recommend reviewing state requirements and utilizing their sample policies.

The next thing I want to touch on is your holiday policy. I always recommend reviewing company holidays just to see if there’s anything you want to add or remove. And something to note is Juneteenth. So June 19 is now considered a federal holiday and employers may wish to revise their policy to include this new home.

The last thing I, I want to touch on is state updates. I’m not going to review every state as this is a very extensive list, but I would recommend looking at every state you have employees working in and seeing if there have been updates to state requirements that you need to follow and should address in your hand.

Overall, I think it is final to do these annual checks to ensure your handbook stays up to date with applicable laws or remains a helpful resource for your employees.

Do you have a question for our experts? Click the link in the show notes, or if you’ve got other ideas and feedback about our show, send them to [email protected]

 

Previous Episodes

Q&A: Can I require my people to get the COVID vaccine?

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Feb 25, 2021
We all want to see the end of COVID. But what role do—or should—companies play in ensuring their people get the vaccine? This episode shares legally-based perspective and exceptions.

Q&A: How can I easily offer a retirement plan?

Nicolle Willson, Director of Retirement Consulting at Guideline
Apr 26, 2022
The AARP recently found that 48% of Americans age 55 and older have zero retirement funds at all. To combat this massive gap, some states will require employers to provide retirement plans for their employees. If your state requires you to offer a retirement plan this year for the first time, where do you start?...

Q&A: POPS Assessment: Measure Your Mastery

Jean Spencer, Senior Manager of Integrated Campaigns at Zenefits.
Jul 1, 2021
How can you tell if your HR team members are A-plus all-stars or just mediocre?

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