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.