Terminology Used in this Handbook (“Terminology”)

Topic 38-ON     Importance:  Critical

Purpose

To explain to the reader how to identify Formal Terms throughout the Handbook/Manual and where to find your Terms & Definitions List, which is particularly important for your Staff Policies section that essentially represents a legal contract, and must include definitions of key terms used throughout. 

Benefits

Eliminates any ambiguity about the definition of each formal term used throughout your Manual  

Risks

Your Staff Policies section won't be constructed as a legal contract.  Legal contracts define the Formal Terms used in them. 

HR Expertise

Defining your Formal Terms so that they're consistent and binding throughout your Manual is a fairly complex undertaking. However, it can be done without expertise if you use the example wording in the Manual and use the definitions as shown on the Terms & Definitions List.

Time/Effort

The copy in both this Policy and the Terms & Definitions List are general enough to work for any type of company. If you use them as is, the time and effort required is minimal. However, if you make a lot of changes, significant time may be spent on research and scanning your entire Manual to make sure the modified terms and definitions still make sense. 

Dependencies

This topic is dependent. The Formal Terms are at the heart of your Staff Policies section and the terms are referenced throughout the Manual. 

In this case, the topic name is abbreviated and called "Terminology" If you change "Terminology" refer to the next link. Also refer to the next link to understand what to do if you change or delete a formal term.

Learn more about dependencies, referencing this topic in other areas of the document, changing/deleting a topic name, changing or deleting a Formal Term 

Key Decisions

Where and how your formal terms and definitions will be made available to the reader of the Manual. Refer to Purpose above. 

Key Approvals

If this topic won't be reviewed by legal counsel, it should be approved by Finance or the position in your company that is responsible for legal matters, such as contracts.

Additional Tips

  • Unless there's a really good reason for it, we highly recommend that you don't change key legal terms and their definitions in the Terms & Definitions List, such as Harassment, Discrimination, Workplace Violence, Engagement. 
  • ConnectsUs will let you know when changes to legislation impact your Formal Terms.
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