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Translating Employee Handbooks

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Translating employee handbooks can keep your entire workforce informed, up to date on rules, regulations, policies, conduct and guidelines, regardless of the languages they speak. This is especially important for companies who have employees who are limited English speakers. It is also beneficial for multinational organizations operating in multiple countries where different languages are spoken.

Translated versions of your employee handbook should be an easily accessible guide to the company’s policies and practices, as well as an overview of management’s expectations. Using professional translators to translate employee handbooks will help you properly convey all the vital information your employees need to know.

Many employee handbooks generally include information about the company, which you will want to be sure to have translated. These include a welcome letter from the president or CEO, the organization’s vision, mission statement, core values, purpose, and broad strategic goals. Additionally, the organization’s commitment to employees, and various non-compete, non-disclosure, and employee confidentiality agreements may also be included. Making translated versions of handbooks readily available can also protect an employer against discrimination or unfair treatment claims.

Most handbooks present details on employee compensation, benefits, and paid time off. This is content you will also want to have translated. If you are operating in different states, regions and countries, you will want to go a step further and have this material fully localized to reflect local employment laws.

Keep Translated Employee Handbooks Up to Date

Changes in policies should be immediately updated in the translated versions of your employee handbook. One way to be sure all employees are aware of changes is to ask employees to acknowledge via email or by signing a receipt. You will also want to be sure that these confirmation documents are translated for employees.

Laws Governing Foreign Workers

If you are an organization that employs foreign workers in the US, there are multiple federal laws that you might want to be aware of when drafting your employee handbook:

Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act

The main federal law that protects farm workers in the United States and repealed and replaced the Farm Labor Contractor Registration Act.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

A United States labor law requiring covered employers to provide employees with job-protected and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons.

 Executive Order 13496

Requires that federal contractors provide notice to their employees of their rights under federal labor laws. Specifically, the order requires that covered contractors provide notice of employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the law that governs relations between unions and employers in the private sector.

National Labor Relations Act

Guarantees the right of private sector employees to organize into trade unions, engage in collective bargaining, and take collective action such as strikes.

Immigration and Nationality Act

The law abolished the National Origins Formula, which had been the basis of U.S. immigration policy since the 1920s.

How Much Does it Cost to Translate an Employee Handbook?

No two employee handbooks are the same, so the cost to translate yours will depend on the length of the document, languages you are translating to, and whether graphics and other additions will also need to be translated. The first step is to request a complimentary quote from a qualified language service provider like Language Link.

Is There Anything I Can do to Reduce Translation Costs for My Employee Handbook?

There are several ways to keep costs down when having your employee handbook translated:

  • Finalize the text in your document before handing it off for translation. Having translators work on an incomplete or changing document takes longer and costs more.
  • Use consistent terminology within your employee handbook.
  • Have the source material ready in an editor-friendly format such as Microsoft Word or InDesign.
  • Leave some white space in graphics, charts, graphs, websites, and tables to allow for text expansion. Also make sure that graphics are easily edited; static images are more time consuming and therefore expensive to recreate.

What File Types Can Be Translated?

We accept employee handbooks in many different file types including Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx), PDF (.pdf), Adobe InDesign, etc.

Get Your Employee Handbooks Translated Today

By teaming up with a language service provider staffed by professional translators who have backgrounds in multiple industries, you can have confidence that your employee handbooks will be accurately translated and localized in the languages that your employees speak.

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