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No law requires an employee handbook, but every church should eventually have one. Why? Because written policies help to bring order in the workplace and protect employers against potential lawsuits.

The handbook is designed to provide employees with a general summary description of the church personnel policies, programs, and employee benefits. The church has the right to change, modify, delete, deviate from, or add policies and procedures. These policies and procedures and any subsequent revisions do not constitute an employment contract, and should not be interpreted as creating an employment contract. A best practice would be to review church personnel policies, programs, and employee benefits every year.

Employee handbooks can vary drastically in size, style, and content and the church can freely choose what they want to include in their employee handbooks. The cost associated with basic handbook development begins at $750.00 but can vary based on the level of service desired. However, most employee handbooks will include a set of standard policies and procedures to comply with law and avoid common areas of dispute.

Every employee handbook should contain some or all of the following contents:
•Title page (with effective date)
•Table of contents – with page numbers
•Body (this is the “meat and potatoes” of the employee handbook):
◦General information about the company/Mission Statement
◦At-will Employee Statement
◦Hiring Rules
◦Anti-Harassment & Anti-Discrimination clauses
◦Compensation Structure for Employees
◦Hours of Operation
◦Leave
◦Performance Reviews
◦Benefits
◦Health & Safety Policy
◦Anti-Violence Policy
◦Privacy in the Workplace
◦Workplace Conduct
◦Disciplinary Policy
•Index
•Acknowledgement Page – page for each employee to sign in acknowledgment of the employee handbook

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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.

For more information or if you need additional assistance, please use the contact information below.

Clergy Financial Resources
11214 86th Avenue N.
Maple Grove, MN 55369

Tel: (763) 425-8778 
Fax: (888) 876-5101
Email: clientservices@clergyfinancial.com