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On-line Employee Handbooks

November 3, 1998
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Related Topics: Intranets/Extranets, Featured Article
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What should you keep in mind when posting employee handbooks on your Intranet?

First, move your disclaimers to make it clear that the employee reads them and acknowledges them. You can build your system to require a disclaimer acceptance form in order to gain access to the "on-line" handbook.

Second, changes to the handbook could be sent to all employees via electronic mail with a mandatory "read this notice" warning. Most e-mail systems allow e-mail to be sent the equivalent of certified mail, return receipt requested. Every receipt can be printed out and stored in a personnel file (for those of us who cling to paper) or stored electronically.

Finally, each location should have a current print book for those who decide they do not want to read a handbook off of a computer screen.

Some other ideas to enhance the system:

  • Your vacation request policy can have a drop-down box with a vacation request form which can be printed or filed out electronically.
  • Your summary plan descriptions can be linked to your handbook, as can your annual report, your latest press releases, even your latest commercials.
  • HR contact telephone and e-mail addesses can be added and updated whenever necessary by the touch of a button.

Source: Epstein, Becker & Green, New York, July 31, 1998.

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