The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the workplace landscape on many different levels. Annual employee handbook updates are essential for businesses to communicate changes in workplace laws on federal, state and local levels.
Updating your employee handbook with new rules and regulations can protect you and your employees from potential conflicts down the line. Let’s review some of the most important Employee Handbook Updates for 2022.
Long-Term Remote Work Policy
Has your business shifted towards a fully remote or hybrid working environment? Do you have a long-term remote work strategy? Employee handbook updates for 2022 should address potential liability risks associated with the move towards a remote workplace. It should also address such issues as timekeeping, confidentiality and security of company information, protection of company property, applicability of company policies in a remote working environment, flexible work arrangements, remote workplace safety, employee productivity, and more.
Since the pandemic broke out at an unprecedented global scale, companies have had to respond to new challenges quickly to protect the health and safety of their employees. Many companies have already incorporated addendums in their employee handbooks related to wearing masks, vaccinations, social distancing, testing, and other safety and health regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
Leaves and Time Off
With employees desiring increased flexibility, a tightening labor market, and competition amongst employers offering generous benefit packages, now is a good time to revisit your company’s leave and paid time off policies.
In addition, many employers will also most likely have to update their employee handbooks to adhere to new laws and legislation related to PTO and vacation time policies. Several state and local jurisdictions recently enacted laws requiring leave for COVID-related reasons. Check your state and local law to ensure all leave requirements are included in your employee handbook updates for 2022.
Wage and Hour Changes
Employers should be vigilant on the wage and hour front. Many states have updated their overtime and minimum wage regulations. Many state and local wage rates have been increasing in phases each year to ultimately reach $15 an hour, and some have already reached or surpassed that rate.
In addition, more and more states are joining the movement that seeks greater transparency when it comes to salaries. Some states require the employer to disclose the pay range whenever an employee takes on a new position, or simply upon request. In short, it’s vital that employee handbook updates are in accordance with new laws.
With an increasing remote workforce, companies are more vulnerable to cyberattacks. According to the recent Tenable study, 74% of companies believe that recent business-impacting cyberattacks are related to vulnerabilities in technology put in place during the pandemic.
Not only the confidentiality of documents can be compromised, but personal client information might be at risk too. That’s why it’s of utmost importance to address data security issues in your employee handbook and establish detailed procedures and regulations to maximally protect your company.
An employee handbook is what keeps everyone on the same page in a functioning work environment. Therefore, it is crucial that employee handbook updates are relevant when it comes to recent law and workplace changes.Make HR management and employee handbook updates one less thing to worry about. Whether you are a startup or a growing company with 50+ employees, HRO has the tools you need so you can focus on guiding your team to success.