You are entitled by law to receive a written statement of particulars or terms and conditions of employment within two months of starting work.
For certain terms, namely sickness provisions, pensions, notice periods and certain discipline and grievance matters, your employer can refer you to another document, such as a company handbook, provided you have reasonable access to it.
Many employers publish a copy of their staff handbook on their intranet. However, as the aim of any handbook is to provide information to employees, it makes sense for you to be provided with a personal copy.
The more important a company rule, and the more serious the consequences of breaking it, the greater your employer’s responsibility to make sure employees understand their position clearly. This is especially true for rules that try to regulate your behaviour at home, for example when using social media in your own time.