As your church grows, the way you conduct your church business may change and therefore the procedures of your employees may change as well. Employee handbooks are always a working document with natural change due to federal and state laws. Your employee handbook should be reviewed and updated no less than annually to avoid your employees from following old procedures with systems that are no longer relevant.

To create employee handbooks that are effective, churches should include all necessary workplace policies, procedures and practices.  The church should ensure that all of the policies in the employee handbook are communicated to all employees and supervisors and that proper training on the policies is provided to the employees. An employer should frequently review the policies in its handbook to see if any need updating based on a change in any law or workplace practice or as the result of a workplace incident which requires clarification of a policy.

•When creating an employee handbook, the church needs to determine the purpose of the employee handbook as well as which subjects, topics and policies it will include based on legal requirements, business needs and conduct expected in the workplace.
•The handbook policies should contain clear and unambiguous language to provide employees with a reasonable understanding of workplace policies and procedures. The church should ensure that the handbook is kept up to date in light of continuing legal developments that affect workplace policies.
•The church should distribute the handbook to all employees who should be required to sign a written acknowledgment that they have reviewed the contents of the handbook and consent to its terms. The church should train employees and supervisors on all relevant policies and procedures.
•The handbook should contain a disclaimer that all employment is at-will and the employer reserves the right to change, amend or modify the handbook policies at its discretion.

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Clergy Financial Resources serves as a resource for clients to help analyze the complexity of clergy tax law, church payroll & HR issues. Our professionals are committed to helping clients stay informed about tax news, developments and trends in various specialty areas.

This article is intended to provide readers with guidance in tax matters. The article does not constitute, and should not be treated as professional advice regarding the use of any particular tax technique. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information. Clergy Financial Resources and the author do not assume responsibility for any individual’s reliance upon the information provided in the article. Readers should independently verify all information before applying it to a particular fact situation, and should independently determine the impact of any particular tax planning technique. If you are seeking legal advice, you are encouraged to consult an attorney.

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