Duke Staff Handbook

The Duke Staff Handbook is now available. All policy changes included in the handbook are effective as of November 2015.

Revision Notes

For a summary of revisions made to the HR Policy Manual, see below:


Click here for definitions to some key terms.

Duke Policies

For a comprehensive list of Duke policies, see the Duke Policies website.

The Duke Human Resources Policy Manual offers comprehensive details about Duke’s Human Resources policies, procedures and forms. The policy manual provides supervisors and staff with access to uniform information in order to assure equitable and consistent application of the policies. Duke HR policies are to be approved, published and distributed in designated publications and web locations.

The Human Resources Policy Manual is designed to serve the following needs:

  • To provide access to pertinent resources necessary for successful employment;
  • To foster communication and promote understanding between staff and their supervisors;
  • To provide a review of Duke’s human resource policies, procedures, and benefit programs;
  • To assist in the development of sound and consistent human resource practices and resources with the Duke community.

Policy Manual Sections

The Human Resources Policy Manual is divided into separate sections as follows:

Each section contains relevant policies, contacts and forms. Any question or topic not addressed in the Human Resources Policy Manual should be addressed by a supervisor. If further information is needed beyond a supervisor’s advice, an entity or department Human Resources representative should be contacted.

Application of the Human Resources Policy Manual

The policies described in the Human Resources Policy Manual are applicable to those categorized as “regular” staff, regardless of whether they are paid a monthly salary or an hourly wage, except where otherwise noted. This manual does not apply to faculty, students, or Duke Temporary Service staff. For staff covered by a bargaining agreement, there are policies included in the Human Resources Policy Manual that may be superseded by provisions found in the bargaining unit agreement for their unit. Therefore, this policy manual should be used as a secondary resource to address those policies not specifically addressed in the bargaining unit agreement.

Further information concerning faculty, students, temporary staff, or staff covered by a bargaining agreement can be found through the following resources:

Maintenance and Revision of the Human Resources Policy Manual

The vice president of Human Resources will annually review the contents of the Human Resources Policy Manual with the DUHS Chief Human Resources Officer and other Duke Human Resource and administrative leaders. 

During the months of March and October, all updated or new policies and procedures will be posted on the HR Policy Manual and communicated to staff. When an update for the manual is communicated (including distribution of new or revised Duke policies), the supervisor is responsible for updating his or her staff.

Staff and Labor Relations should be contacted with any questions concerning this manual or the policies in it. Suggestions for changes to the manual or policies contained in this manual should also be submitted to Human Resources, Staff and Labor Relations.


Except as provided in the applicable grievance or dispute resolution procedures, information contained in any handbook, manual or document prepared for or relating to non-exempt and exempt staff is for informational purposes only and shall not be construed as a contract. Agreement to the terms of the applicable grievance or dispute resolution procedure, as may be periodically amended and which is available upon request from the Office of Human Resources, is a condition of employment and continuing employment.

Additional Information

Any general questions concerning Duke Human Resources policies should be directed to a primary supervisor. For additional assistance in clarifying and/or interpreting policies, please contact Staff and Labor Relations at 684-2808.