Essential HR Documentation Every Business Should Have

from Silk Helix
Photograph of Jenefer Livings, Founder of Silk Helix Ltd
15 February 2023
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Having the right HR documentation in place is critical to protecting your business as well as making sure your employees are being treated professionally, fairly, and legally. Not having the right documentation in place can impact your ability to hire, make it harder to dismiss and reduce productivity.

In this guide I cover the five key things all businesses must have in place:

Employment Contract

A written statement of particulars is a legal requirement, commonly referred to as an employment contract and we advise that your employment contract goes beyond the legally required statement.

An employment contract is essential to protect your business, it should include clauses such as deductions from wages and may include things like non-disclosure and prevention from working elsewhere. The exact contents will depend on the nature of your business.

Employee Handbook

An employee handbook, whilst not legally required as a document, it does include policies and procedures that are legally required as well as those essential for the operation and protection of your business.

A comprehensive handbook helps ensure that all employees are informed of their rights and responsibilities so they can do their job effectively. It will include information on rights to time off, codes of conduct such as use of social media and IT equipment, possibly a dress code and much more. The handbook should only include the policies and procedures needed for your business.

Job Descriptions

Job descriptions are essential for any business. They should include a detailed description of the role and expectations providing a base from which to manage and support performance within the role.

Having clear job descriptions makes it easier to produce adverts for use in recruitment and can be shared with applicants wanting to apply for positions. Not only do they give candidates a good feel for what the role entails but also show your organisation to be professional and with good systems to support employees.

With a clear job description, it’s easier to establish the skills, qualifications and experience required for the role enabling employers to assess whether or not a candidate is suitable for the job.

Time off Policy and Records

Employers are required to inform employees of all entitlements to time off, many of these are statutory rights, including holiday, sick, time off for dependents, maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental leave and parental leave.

Holidays are particularly important to employees who need to know their entitlement, what they can book and how to book it. HR systems like Breathe HR are particularly useful for keeping accurate records of time off and allowing employees to request leave through the systems.

Induction Checklist

Create an induction or onboarding checklist, a template document which can then be adapted to individual hires. This will ensure you don’t miss out on anything important like issuing the employment contract and employee handbook, checking their right to work in the UK, gathering the bank details and P45.

It’s not just the admin that’s important, never forget to make your new starter a coffee and show them where the toilets are! Whilst you might not put this on the checklist, you should include introducing them to key people, systems and information they’ll need to help them settle in.

While this guide covers the basics, every situation has its own complexities so you should always seek professional advice.
We can help, so book a Free Advice Call .

Article last updated: 15 February 2023

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