What You Need to Know About Staff Handbooks in 2022

What You Need to Know About Staff Handbooks in 2022

We’re still in Q1. There are still some people sticking with their New Year’s Resolutions, most are still excited about what the new year has to bring, and pretty much all of them are still mistakenly writing “2021” fairly often.

The beginning of the year is the best time to roll out updates to your Staff Handbook (or a Staff Handbook altogether). Take this time to go over all the policies in your handbook and really evaluate not only are they compliant but are they in line with your culture and trajectory.

Here’s what you definitely need to look over and update:

If your organization has staff in more than one state:

  • Align all policies with the strictest state
  • Add addendums to the core handbook for each state
  • Health and safety policies are changing so quickly—be sure to keep tabs on your state’s updates!

Other federal and state changes to look out for:

  • Protected class expansions
  • Victim leaves
  • Donor leaves

Also, look at policies specific to your state and number of employees (i.e., Virginia just recently began requiring pregnancy accommodation statements in handbooks):

  • Paid sick leave
  • Paid parental leave
  • Family & medical leave
  • Vaccine paid leave
  • Vaccine policies

New policies to consider:

  • Video conference policy (include required video platforms, recording rules, dress code, etc.)
  • Remote work policy
  • Remote security and confidentiality policy

In addition to the items above, take culture into account. Update your handbook to reflect how you actually do things. If there is a policy that is not legally required and you simply don’t do anymore, take it out! If there is language that doesn’t fit your vernacular, change it! This is not just a dry rulebook, but an opportunity to capture the essence of your organization in a written document and communicate it to your team. Don’t miss it.

If your Staff Handbook does change in any way, make sure every staff member receives an updated copy. Indicate what and where changes are and have everyone fill out a new signed acknowledgment to store in their employee file. And don’t “set it and forget it”. Take time to train on your key policies throughout the year, too.

On a related note, if you’re reading this and starting your Staff Handbook from square one, we often get the question, “Can I copy another church’s staff handbook?” The short answer is yes, but it might not be the easy route you’re hoping for. To avoid the extra risk, make sure the policies in it align with specific laws for your home state, city, and number of employees. Also, double and triple check those health and safety policies that are almost sure to have changed since the book your copying was put together.

It seems like a lot, but don’t get overwhelmed. You can do this!

Original content by hrministrysolutions.com. This information is provided with the understanding that Payroll Partners is not rendering legal, human resources, or other professional advice or service. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from a lawyer, HR consultant or other professional.