“When ministers in this government talk about investing in education and skills, about making the planning system work; about employment law reform and delivering transport and power generation and broadband communication infrastructure, we are talking about raising Britain’s productivity.” – Philip Hammond
It would be difficult to know all the verious ins and outs of employment law. But ignorance of the law in regard to employing people is no defence!
By far the best place to gather all the information you require would be the ACAS website. This site provides guidance to set you on the right course and it has many resources to assist with setting up every aspect of your business in regard to employing people.
The key areas to consider in employment law
- Discipline and grievance – policies and procedures for dealing with anything in relation to this are required and they need to comply with employment legislation.
- Employment contracts – you have to give new employees a contract of employment within 2 months of their start date. Having one from the outset is good practice and removes all ambiguity.
- Staff handbook – it’s always good practice for a staff handbook to be standard issue so employees have clear guidelines on all aspects of their terms of employment.
- Working hours – details on rules around working hours including rest periods, days off and annual leave entitlements (and remuneration). Rules for both full and part time employees.
- Minimum wage – you need to comply with employment law in relation to minimum wage and the pay scales relating to the new National Living Wage legislation.
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- Maternity/paternity rights and shared parental leave – employees have specific rights relating to this and awareness is essential to ensure compliance.
- Flexible working – consideration has to be made to requests for flexible working and the rules that govern it.
- Pensions – this is well worth taking professional advice from an FSA registered pension specialist. There are laws which require employers to make pension provisions for staff and need to be considered carefully.
- Reasonable adjustment – you are required to make “reasonable adjustments” to your premises to enable suitably qualified people with disabilities to work for you.
You take on a big responsibility when you employ people and it’s a big commitment. As a result, staff are likely to be your biggest asset and it is essential that you look after them at the outset, from both a moral and legal perspective.
If you provide a safe and happy workplace, you will get the very best from your work force and maximise their contribution to the success of the business.
Employment law isn’t something to be scared of, get professional, expert guidance and support from experts to ensure you follow the rules.