Am I entitled to see a copy of the employer's handbook and staff rules?

You are entitled by law to receive a written statement of particulars or terms and conditions of employment within one month of starting work.

(From April 2020, the law is set to change. From that date, your employer will have to provide this written statement from the first day of your job. And they will have to include more information, for example details of the parental leave and pay policies where you 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.

You have a statutory right to see a copy of the handbook if it specifies terms and conditions relevant to your employment.

Your employer would be acting unfairly if they tried to penalise or discipline you for breaking a rule or failing to follow a procedure that you didn’t know about because nobody gave you a copy of the handbook or staff rules.

Sometimes the staff handbook can be accessed online on the employer’s intranet.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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