In the context of Malaysian employment law, an Employee Handbook, often referred to as an Employee Manual or Company Handbook, is a written document that outlines the policies, procedures, rules, and guidelines governing the employment relationship between an employer and its employees.
The employee handbook is not legally required in Malaysia. It serves as a reference guide for employees, providing information about their rights, responsibilities, and the company's expectations.
An Employee Handbook typically covers a wide range of topics, including:
Employment Terms and Conditions: Information about terms of employment, working hours, overtime, and leave policies.
Code of Conduct: Expectations for employee behaviour, including standards of professionalism, ethics, and workplace behaviour.
Non-Discrimination and Harassment Policies: Ensuring that the workplace is free from discrimination and harassment based on factors like gender, race, religion, and others.
Health and Safety: Guidelines for workplace safety and procedures for reporting accidents or hazards.
Leave Policies: Details on various types of leave, including annual leave, sick leave, maternity or paternity leave, public holidays, and the application procedures.
Compensation and Benefits: Information about salary, benefits, bonuses, and other forms of compensation.
Rules on dress code while working in the office: This section defines the company's expectations regarding employee attire, ensuring a professional and appropriate workplace appearance.
Alcohol and drug policy details the company's stance on alcohol and drug use, typically emphasising a drug-free workplace and rules for alcohol consumption during work-related events.
Rules on company email usage, breaks, and attendance: This section outlines guidelines for using company email for professional purposes, taking breaks during work hours, and maintaining good attendance. It provides employees with a clear understanding of what's expected regarding punctuality and email communication.
Guidelines for phone use (e.g., no private calls during work hours): This provides instructions on the appropriate use of personal phones in the workplace, emphasising that private calls should be limited during working hours to maintain productivity.
Termination and Resignation Procedures: Procedures for ending the employment relationship, including notice periods and exit interviews.
Grievance Procedures: Steps for addressing workplace conflicts or concerns.
Confidentiality and Data Protection: Policies for handling company information and employee data.
Employee Rights and Responsibilities: Outlining employees' rights and obligations in the workplace.
The Employee Handbook is a valuable resource for both employers and employees, as it helps promote transparency, consistency, and fair treatment within the organisation.
It can also serve as a reference in disputes or legal matters related to employment.
Both employers and employees need to be aware of the contents of the Employee Handbook, as it forms part of the employment contract and may have legal implications. Additionally, the handbook should be periodically reviewed and updated to reflect changes in labour laws or company policies.