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Employment Basics

Wondering where to begin your Employee Handbook? After you welcome employees and introduce your mission, explain basic aspects of employment like how you define full-time employment and how you hire. Use our template as a guide and adjust it to your needs.

Download this template in a .doc format by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.

Keep in mind that this template is not a legal document and may not take into account all relevant local or national laws. Please ask your attorney to review your finalized policy documents or Handbook.


  • Employment contract types
  • Equal opportunity employment
  • Recruitment and selection process
    • Background checks
    • Referrals
  • Attendance

Employment basics template

In this section, we explain our employee contract types and define our basic employment policies.

Employment contract types

Full-time employees work at least [30 hours] per week or [130 hours] per month on average.

Part-time employees are those who work fewer than [30 hours] per week.

Full-time and part-time employees can have either temporary or indefinite duration contracts. Full-time employees under an indefinite duration contract are entitled to our company’s full benefits package.

[Insert this if employees are in the U.S: We remind you that, in the U.S., employment is “at-will.” This means that you or our company may terminate our employment relationship at any time and for any non-discriminatory reason(s).]

Equal opportunity employment

[Company’s name] is an equal opportunity employer. We don’t tolerate discrimination against protected characteristics (gender, age, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, disability, veteran status.) We want all employees (including executives and HR) to treat others with respect and professionalism. In practice, this means that we:

  • [Hire and promote people based on skills, experience or potential and try to reduce bias in every process (e.g. through structured interviews.)]
  • [Make accommodations to help people with disabilities move about safely on our premises and use our products, services and equipment.]
  • [Use inclusive, diversity-sensitive language in all official documents, signs and job ads.]
  • [Conduct diversity and communication training.]

Apart from those actions, we commit to penalizing every discriminatory, offensive or inappropriate behavior. To do this properly, we ask you to report any discriminatory action against yourself or your colleagues to HR. Our company will not retaliate against you if you file a complaint or discrimination lawsuit. Any employee who retaliates or discriminates will face disciplinary action.

Recruitment and selection process

Our hiring steps might vary across roles, but we always aim for a recruitment and selection process that is fair and effective in hiring great people. If you are hiring for an open role, you will likely go through these steps:

  1. Identify the need for a new job opening.
  2. Decide whether to hire externally or internally.
  3. Review job descriptions and write a job ad.
  4. Get approval for your job ad.
  5. Select appropriate sources (external or internal) to post your job opening.
  6. Decide on hiring stages and possible timeframes.
  7. Review resumes in our company database/ATS.
  8. Source passive candidates.
  9. Shortlist applicants.
  10. Screen and interview candidates.
  11. Run background checks and check references.
  12. Select the most suitable candidate.
  13. Make an official offer.

Steps may overlap, so skip steps when appropriate. Each member of a hiring team might have different responsibilities (e.g. recruiters source and hiring managers interview candidates.)

Throughout this process, we aim to keep candidates informed, communicate well with each other and give everyone an equal opportunity to work with us. Ask our recruiters for help whenever you need to enhance candidate experience or write an inclusive job description.

Background checks

If you want to run background checks on candidates, ask HR for guidance. This process is sensitive and we must always abide by laws and ensure candidates understand our intentions. As a general rule, commission a background check for finalists only. Use our contracted provider and ensure you have your candidates’ permission.


If you know someone who you think would be a good fit for a position at our company, feel free to refer them. If we end up hiring your referred candidate, you are eligible for [$3000] referral bonus or [a trip to a destination of your choice/ Amazon coupons.] Our employee referral rewards may be higher if we hire your referred candidate in a hard-to-fill role. For example, if we hire your referral for the position of [Data Scientist], you may receive [$6000.]

Additional rules for rewards:

  • We guarantee that rewards will be paid out within [a month] of the date we hired a candidate.
  • There is no cap on the number of referrals an employee can make. All rewards will be paid accordingly.
  • If two or more employees refer the same candidate, only the first referrer will receive the referral incentives.
  • Referrers are still eligible for rewards even if a candidate is hired at a later time or gets hired for another position.

Who can be referred?

We have two conditions for candidates who can qualify you for our rewards. They should:

  • Have not applied to our company for at least a year.
  • Be hired as permanent full- or part-time employees (not as temporary employees or contractors.)

Our company may use an online form or a platform where employees may refer candidates. You can also reach out directly to our [HR/recruiters/Talent Acquisition Manager] with referrals.

Generally, we encourage you to check our open positions and consider your social networks and external networks as potential resources for referred candidates.

Keep in mind that rewards may be subject to taxation. Please contact HR or our referral program manager for more information.


We expect you to be present during your scheduled working hours. If you face an emergency that prevents you from coming to work one day, contact your manager as soon as possible. We will excuse unreported absences in cases of [serious accidents, acute medical emergencies.] But, whenever possible, we should know when you won’t be coming in.

Further reading

Explore the rest of our employee handbook template:

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