Your Employee Handbook Isn’t Complete Without These Must-Have Policies

Building an employee handbook is a daunting task– it needs to be meaningful, fun, digestible, and most importantly, it must include these policies.

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your employee handbook needs these policies

You’ve made the decision to create an employee handbook and you’ve begun compiling what you want to include. You’re off to a great start. Now for the arguably most important step: you have to begin adding policies. Here are some of the most important policies to consider including in your handbook.

Sexual Harassment

One of the most important policies to include in your handbook is a sexual harassment protocol. Employees want to feel comfortable and protected in the workplace. Start by defining what sexual harassment is so the company and employees know what to identify.

List specific examples that fall within the policy so that employees can recognize signs of sexual harassment. Make sure individuals know how to respond to an unsafe situation correctly. The first rule is to tell the person to stop. Notify a supervisor and report the offense to HR. List the steps for discipline in your policy so that employees know what to expect after the behavior is reported.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

States have different laws when it comes to family medical leave, which is why it’s important to start by reviewing your state’s procedures before building an FMLA policy. A few of the most common benefits include pregnancy disability leave, family rights, and state disability insurance.

Briefly touch on each benefit and direct employees to the correct point of contact if they need leave.


Typically, federal law doesn’t require employers to offer vacation. However, if you offer it, some states require you to treat it like wages and pay it out when employees leave. If you decide to offer vacation benefits, start by determining the amount you want to provide.

Most policies include two weeks of vacation and one week of sick leave. Often times employees can accrue additional vacation days for longevity with the company. Many organizations are even offering unlimited PTO. Once your leadership team decides on a vacation policy, list it out in the employee handbook.

Sick Leave

Depending on your company’s location, you might be required to offer sick leave. Over 40 states currently require employers to offer sick leave. Check your local laws before creating a policy to see what’s required of your organization.

A lot goes into creating an employee handbook. You must consider state laws, policies, and company culture. Don’t be overwhelmed, Zenefits is here to help and can provide a review service once you’re ready. Start with our free employee handbook builder or review some of our best examples of employee handbooks.

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