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Employee Handbook Table of Contents Template for 2023

Employee Handbook Table of ContentsEmployee Handbook Table of Contents
min read
August 21, 2023

Hiring new employees is an exciting step for any business. However, it takes a bit of work to get them up to speed with the company culture and their role in it. 

Luckily, you can streamline the onboarding process as your company grows by creating an employee handbook. It can get everyone on the same page about workplace rules and culture. 

But what exactly does a handbook contain? Let’s take a closer look at what an employee handbook is and what to include in yours.

What Is an Employee Handbook?

An employee handbook is a guide that explains your company culture and policies to current and new team members. It’s also known as an employee manual, staff handbook, or company policy manual.

What Should You Include in an Employee Handbook in 2023?

If you’re creating an employee handbook in 2023, it should include information about your company’s vision, policies, procedures, and code of conduct at the workplace.

Employee handbooks vary from company to company, but these are the five essential topics you should cover in an employee manual: 

Employee Handbook Table of Contents 

1. Basic Employment Information

2. Employment Policies

3. Workplace Code of Conduct

4. Compensation Structure

5. Employee Benefits

6. Work Schedules, Holidays, and Time Off

7. Job Termination or Resignation 


Want to get started making your own handbook right away? Here’s a table of contents template you can use. Just click “Make a copy” to edit your own.

Employee Handbook Table of Contents Template

Table of Contents Explained

Company manuals contain a lot of information, so it’s important to organize them logically. Including a table of contents at the beginning of your employee handbook makes it easier for employees to find the information they need at any given time.

Here are the seven typical employee handbook categories to include in your table of contents and what type of information goes in each section.

1. Basic Employment Information

The first section should cover information about your employment relationship. 

In the United States (except for Montana), the default relationship is known as “at-will employment.” This means you can dismiss an employee for any reason (except illegal ones, like termination based on race or gender).  

In other words, it means you don’t need just cause to fire an employee. Employment at will also means that your employees can resign with or without a reason.

Montana is the only state that does not follow at-will employment. After a probationary period of 12 months, Montana employers need to have just cause if they want to terminate an employee’s contract.

In addition to specifying the employer relationship, this section should clarify the types of job contracts you offer. Job classifications can include part-time employees vs. full-time employees, exempt vs. non-exempt workers, and independent contractors vs. employees.

Make sure this section tells employees where they can check their job classification status for tax reasons. For instance, you may include that information in their employment contracts. 

If you use payroll software like Hourly, your employees can log in and access their tax documents right from their phones.

2. Employment Policies

Company policies explain the rules and guidelines your employees should follow to ensure safe and healthy working conditions

Specifically, these policies outline the behavior that you expect and disciplinary action that may be used if necessary.

This section can also include information about your employees’ rights and how you comply with any employment laws that apply to your company, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO).

3. Workplace Code of Conduct

Your code of conduct describes how you expect employees to behave in the workplace and treat company property. It can also explain your employee conduct expectations that apply when people are representing the company or interacting with coworkers outside of the office.

4. Compensation Structure

Your compensation section should contain everything your employees need to know about their pay. That includes your payroll schedule, what payment methods you use, and how to access their pay stubs.

You can also outline employee training and development opportunities, which shows employees you are invested in their growth. 

5. Employee Benefits

Employee benefits packages are excellent tools for attracting top talent and engaging your existing employees. But all too often, perks and benefits go unnoticed and unused by your employees. 

If you offer any benefits, your handbook should clearly explain them and provide instructions on how to access them.

6. Work Schedules, Holidays, and Time Off

Here is where you get into detail about your company’s work schedule. Specifically, you want to define your company’s workweek and specify what constitutes regular work hours

If you have non-exempt employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, you need to provide overtime pay to those who work more than 40 hours in a week. This section should define your overtime pay rate, which must be at least time and a half.

Time off includes paid holidays, paid time off (PTO), and unpaid time off. 

Here’s a closer look at the various types of leave and their requirements:

7. Job Termination or Resignation 

While you hope that all your new hires work out, that’s not always the case. Your company handbook should include guidelines for when employees leave to create a better transition experience for everyone. 

Here’s more information on what details to add to each section:

How to Streamline Employee Hiring and Onboarding

Creating an employee handbook is one way to make your life easier as an employer. But did you know your payroll software can help with onboarding, too? 

With Hourly, you can add new employees to your payroll in seconds. You can also track time and attendance, and make it easy for employees to log in and see their pay stubs. It doesn’t get any simpler than that!

Help Employees Start on The Right Foot

As a business owner, you want to help your new employees seamlessly transition onto your team. 

A good employee handbook helps by setting the bar for your company’s rules and policies so that employees know what to expect. 

While you’ll talk about your company’s vision in your handbook, you’ll also want to cover basic employment details like at-will employment, payment details, benefits, attendance policy, and more. Now that you know everything to include an employee handbook, all that’s left to do? Start with that table of contents!

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