Are employees at your company familiar with your Employee Handbook? Do they even know you have one? Employee handbooks are the foundation of a business’s relationship with its workforce.  They should empower employees and set expectations about how they can succeed in their role at the company. SixFifty has outlined 5 key Policies that you should be in your Employee Handbook.


Paid time off can be a huge selling point when acquiring new talent, and retaining top performers. Specifically highlighting your PTO policies in detail is key.  A 2017 survey by Glassdoor found that Americans don’t use half of their earned vacation time, primarily due to fear, guilt, and workplace pressure.  Forfeiting their time off not only hurts employees, but also employers.  Studies have shown that taking time off can increase productivity, lower stress and improve mental health. Your Employee Handbook should tell employees that PTO is encouraged and should be used.

Telecommuting Policy

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, having a telecommuting policy is more important than ever. While many telecommuters will begin returning to worksites as the pandemic subsides, Harvard Business Review found that as much as 16% of the US workforce will continue working from home long term. Make sure your telecommuting policy covers workplace safety at home, confidentiality measures, time-keeping, reimbursements, performance expectations, and more.

Dress Code

Dress codes vary substantially, even within the same industry.  Some businesses opt for formal business attire, while others may not have a dress code at all. With so many employees working from home, some businesses may need to clarify how dress codes apply for video calls, etc. Many businesses are updating their dress codes to be more inclusive as workforces become more diverse. Whatever you choose to do, include it in the employee handbook. That way, new employees know what to expect and don’t need to worry about accidentally overdressing or underdressing. The first day at a new job is already stressful enough, make it a little easier for everyone and put your dress code in your Employee Handbook.

Parental Leave Policy

Welcoming a new child is both exciting and stressful. Employers can help by outlining exactly how much time employees will have off work to care for their little ones, and putting those details in an Employee Handbook. Not only is it the right thing to do, but in many states parental leave is the law. Different states have different laws about parental leave, so make sure that your parental leave policy meets the standards for all states in which you have employees.


A diverse and inclusive workplace comes with so many benefits. One way to help make your workplace diverse and inclusive is to recognize holidays for everyone. Consider including Juneteenth, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur as paid holidays, for example. Outlining this in your Employee Handbook will make everyone feel included.

We hope that these 5 key Policies will help you build the best Employee Handbook for your business. If you need any assistance, SixFifty can help you automate your handbook very easily and keep everything up to date for you. Click here to schedule a demo and see how SixFifty makes the law easier for HR leaders.

Looking for the employee handbook requirements for your state? View our interactive map for required employee handbook policies by state.