For any credible business, the repercussions of not knowing employment law can be far-reaching. Employment law covers a wide range of employer responsibilities and employee rights – from employment contracts to unfair dismissal claims. Often a complex topic that is full of potential hazards, getting it right means keeping up to date with developments and implementing policies with care and consideration.
Hours And Leave
The Working Time Regulations must be complied with regarding working hours, paid annual leave and rest breaks. Staff should not work in excess of 48 hours a week (unless they’ve opted out) and a system should be in place to record an employee’s actual working hours. Employees must each be paid at least the minimum wage, with everyone receiving a wage slip. PAYE must also be used for tax and National Insurance contributions. This must all be kept in mind to ensure employment law is complied with effectively.
The Recruitment Process
Before the recruitment process even begins, interviewers should actively avoid their unconscious bias and ask standardised questions to give each potential employee an equal chance. Focusing only on the requirements of the job is one way to succeed during the recruitment stage.You must also check they have the right to work in the UK. Making the most of probationary periods and having regular reviews is advisable. If there are early signs that an employee is likely to be unsuitable for the role, an employer can usually dismiss them without risking the need for legal advice.
The Equality Act 2010 exists to eliminate discrimination in the workplace. It is important that employers get this right as they are legally responsible for preventing discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Discrimination exists in many forms. It can be direct (for example not employing somebody because of their sexuality) or indirect (applying a policy to everyone that disadvantages one group, such as those with additional parenting responsibilities). Employment law dictates that this act should be followed at all times in the workplace.
Though some employees should receive a statement setting out the main terms and conditions of their employment, employees have some rights which are implied but not explicitly spelt out in their contracts. Contrastingly, they also have rights which the contract cannot override. Employers must provide a healthy and comfortable working environment, with a reasonable amount of privacy granted to the employee. This particularly pertains to the circumstances under which employers may monitor phone calls, emails or internet use. For any employer seeking legal advice on any of the above matters, contacting a solicitor is often sensible.
Swan Craig Solicitors have 16 years of experience in providing employment law advice across a wide range of matters. With over 7 years of commercial law experience, we pride ourselves on providing professional, yet friendly, legal services at a competitive rate. Don’t hesitate to get in touch today.