conduct policies for employment agreement

Download Free Staff Policies Manual Template

Conduct Policies that supplement
your Employment Agreement

Staff Policies (Manual)

The Staff Policies Manual includes the main conduct policies you need to supplement your employment agreement and protect your company.  The conduct policies are 'extracted' from the Employee Handbook to create a new manual that is signed off by an employee or an independent contractor when an offer is made. The Staff Policy Manual is accompanied by the Terms & Definitions Addendum that defines formal terms used in your conduct policies.  See how the 3 documents fit together

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The Staff Policies Manual spells out clearly important conduct expectations from both the employees and employer. It is important that the Manual is presented to the employee together with the Employment Contract Agreement or Independent Contractor Agreement and signed off before starting their engagement to ensure that the conduct policies are legally enforceable.   Putting an employee handbook in front of a new hire after they begin work and asking them to sign off on never-before-seen conduct policies essentially changes their employment contract - whether implied or executed.  You'll be surprised to know that there are still a lot of companies that do not have conduct policies or present them to employees after they have joined the company. Avoid being part of that statistic and safeguard your company's legal risk in the event of litigation.   

Also, have peace of mind knowing that the Staff Policies Manual excludes the components of an employee handbook or manual that communicates orientation or sensitive company information that should not be seen before someone has signed on the dotted line.   

The policies are written in a clear and easy to understand language without any complicated jargons requiring legal interpretation. It is more important that individuals working for the company understand clearly the expectations before signing on the dotted line than to present an impressive looking document that's difficult to comprehend. The goal is not to impress but to create a workplace that is fun, orderly and safe.  There are placeholders throughout the manual prompting additional or customization of information (e.g. designated Compliance Officer for the Whistle Blower policy). The document owner (usually HR if the company has a HR Department) has the choice of using the manual as-is with very minimal customization required as the manual is in a ready-to-use form. 



How the Staff Policies (Manual) is used?

Your Employment Contract Agreement template includes a section that refers to reading, understanding and adhering to the conduct policies included in the Staff Policies Manual.  Once your employment contract agreement is signed, your new employee has signed off on your conduct policies before beginning work. 

Why should I have Conduct Policies supplement my Employment Contract?

Adding a supplemental addendum to your employment agreement that clearly articulates conduct expectations requiring a signature: 

  • Captures all protection policies that need to be signed off by an employee without increasing the size of your employment agreement.  The Employment Agreement includes a sign off clause that points to the Staff Policies Manual. 
  • Only the Conduct Policies form a contract.  By extracting only the Conduct Policies and excluding the other information in your Employee Manual/Handbook, the "other information" is not signed off and does not form a promise by your company to conduct business in a certain way or perpetually make available any benefits or programs it references.  Eliminates the standard statement "This Employee Handbook does not form a contract..." because it does form a contract, but only as it relates to the staff member adhering to Conduct Policies. All other promises made to the employee by your company are included in the Employment Contract and are negotiated up front. 
  • If your business operates in more than one country or jurisdiction, the Staff Policies Manual will outline the policies applicable to the jurisdiction that the employment contract refers to.
  • Acts as a 'pre-nup' in the employee-employer relationship to outline what's expected from each party during the employment relationship and what will happen once you part ways.  It's an agreed-upon set of rules that's established when both parties are on good terms and in the honeymoon phase. 
  • Written so that it's applicable to independent contractors.  
  • Extracts only the formal policies from the Employee Manual so that you're not providing a candidate who hasn't accepted an offer with proprietary information and internal procedures.  This method also ensures that your independent contractors sign off on conduct policies without access to your Employee Manual.
  • Employees are much more likely to respect your house rules when they've signed off on your conduct policies. 
  • You have increased leverage when an employee fails to comply with conduct policies and may be able to expedite termination. If an employee situation ends in litigation, you'll have a much better chance in court if you have your terms and conditions clearly laid out. 
  • Helps to protect your company against the NOTMICS
  • Communicates that you're a well-run company.

What do I risk by not having Conduct Policies as part of my Employment Contract?

If you don't include conduct policies as an addendum to your employment agreements when employees are hired:

  • You're at the mercy of common law which highly favors the employee. If your rules and do's and don't's are not clearly laid out, you can't expect that employees will 'just know' as the courts will often conclude.For example, if you don't have an Internet Use or Off-Duty Conduct policy that's signed off by an employee or independent contractor and a staff member posts inappropriate content about your company or co-workers in cyber space, staff can easily claim that they simply did not know that this was inappropriate. 
  • Staff, particularly the younger generation may not understand what is meant by "inappropriate conduct".
  • Consequences for misconduct are not clearly articulated. 
  • Your company confidential information is at risk. 
  • You have limited recourse in the event that the employee's behavior/performance does not meet expectations.
  • If you ask an employee or independent contractor to sign an employee manual/handbook before hire because that's where your conduct policies live, a candidate will have access to your proprietary information and may not accept your offer. 

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Staff Policies Manual 

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Contracts & Agreement Templates in this Kit

The template referenced on this page can be used on its own as a stand-alone tool, or in conjunction with other HR templates in the Contracts & Agreement Kit that includes the following documents:

Template Description

Offer Form Template

This form template ensures that all information about a candidate and position is collected and summarized, so that HR has the information they need to process an employment or independent contractor agreement.

Employment Contract Agreement Template

A contractual agreement template between the company and the employee that establishes the terms and conditions of employment.

Independent Contractor Agreement Template

This agreement template is intended to be used to clearly articulate and establish the terms and conditions of a contract between your company and an independent contractor.

Staff Policies Manual - Addendum to Employment Contract

An addendum document that outlines the standard terms of employment and conduct expectations where signature for adherence by the candidate is obtained as part of the Employment Contract Agreement and Independent Contractor Agreement documents.

Terms & Definitions - Addendum to Staff Policies Manual

An addendum document that provides definitions for the formal terms used in the Staff Policies Manual above.  

Overtime Averaging Agreement Template

A contractual agreement between an employee and your company allows you to bypass overtime rates by averaging the employee’s hours of work over a period of 1, 2, 3, or 4 weeks. 

Employee Handbook Acknowledgment Agreement Template

This is a contract agreement that is signed by Staff, in the presence of a witness, to acknowledge that they've read, understood, and will adhere to the Staff Policies section in your Employee Handbook.

Front Desk Service Agreement Template

An agreement used to obtain signed confirmation from front line and reception staff to acknowledge their understanding of company protocols and expected service levels. 

Involuntary Termination Authorization Form Template

This document is a template spreadsheet that will help your company calculate the costs associated with terminating an employee, and to obtain authorization to terminate. 

Involuntary Termination Letter Options & Release Form

A document that provides 6 different involuntary termination (firing) letter options between the company and the employee as well as a Release form that together outline the contractual agreement that establishes the terms and conditions of termination. 
Non-Disclosure Agreement for Exploratory Discussions Template This template agreement is intended to be used to protect the interests of your company in situations where company-confidential information may be shared during exploratory discussions with prospective candidates.
Reference Check Request & Consent Template This document is a template for an email script used to obtain reference provider names and written consent from candidates to conduct reference checks.
Training Reimbursement Agreement Template A template for a contractual Agreement between your company and an employee embarking on a training initiative that exceeds a company-determined cost ceiling, where your company is expecting the training expenses to be reimbursed by the employee in certain scenarios.
Delegate Confidentiality Agreement Template This document contains instructions and a script for a conduct agreement between a manager and administrative-level staff. The script can be used when a manager needs to delegate work that may require access to sensitive or confidential information.
Hybrid and Remote Work Policy & Agreement Template A template for a contractual Agreement that is used to set expectations and guidelines for remote employees who work outside the company office to create a mutually beneficial situation for both the company and the teleworker.