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Employment Law & HR News & Updates.

Employment Law Updates

The latest employment law news & updates from Kalra Legal Group
5 minutes reading time (1013 words)

Employment Law for Small Businesses: What You Need to Know

As experienced employment lawyers, KLG Law know a thing or two about employment law for small businesses. That’s why we’ve put together this ultimate guide so both employers and employees  are aware of their rights and responsibilities. 

Coronavirus Update

For legal advice for employees and employers regarding Coronavirus, check out our guides:

Employers guide on Coronavirus 

Employees Guide on Coronavirus

Coronavirus: Employers FAQ 

This guide will cover the following:

What is employment law?

Why is employment law important?

What are the rights and responsibilities of an employee?

Responsibilities as a business owner

Employment law advice for employers

Employment law advice for employees

What is employment law?

Employment law is the area of law that considers the employee- employer relationship. Employment law is in place to protect the interests and rights of the employer and the employee. 

When followed and abided by properly it can help retain a happy, productive work environment and workforce, and help employers to recruit and maintain happy, productive employees. For employers it can also help to avoid expensive disputes and employment tribunal claims. 

Why is employment law important?

Employment law can help to ensure both parties, namely the employer and the employee, are aware of their legal standpoint entering an agreement. Employment law helps to determine employee rights as well as employee responsibilities. In essence this avoids any grey areas and will help establish a set of legal guidelines for both parties to follow, and can ensure a happy working relationship is met between employers and employees.

This can avoid unwanted disputes within the workplace, which can lead to time consuming and costly employment disputes which can lead to legal action and tribunals. 

Rather, having a clear and established code of conduct and set of legal compliances and practices followed by the employee and employer can ensure a safe work environment for all. This includes employee rights at work, as workers rights should always be set out before a contract begins.

What are the rights and responsibilities of an employee?

Be aware of your statutory rights before you sign any agreement. Read your contract carefully, as it is a legally binding document for both the protection of yourself and the employer. 

Your statutory rights as an employee include:

  • To be paid at least the minimum wage;
  • To not discriminated against /harassed at work;
  • To receive paid holiday and paid sick leave
  • To claim parental entitlements such as paid maternity leave;
  • To receive rest breaks
  • To request at your discretion, flexible working arrangements;
  • To not have the employment contract altered or changed without unilateral agreement

As well as employee rights, there will be employee responsibilities to follow and abide by, too. These will be outlined in your contract. 

Your contract acts as a written statement of employment terms, which will detail expectations of the employer regarding your specific responsibilities. Your role will be outlined, as will the details of the exact service you are providing, your pay, holiday entitlements and details of sick pay eligibility.

Responsibilities as a business owner 

You must ensure you adhere to the following as a business owner:

  • Provide a safe workplace environment, by abiding to health and safety regulations (first aid, protective clothing, etc) and regularly checking in with employees 
  • Consider statutory employment rights
  • Pay employees at least the national minimum wage.
  • Provide employees with a payslip detailing a breakdown of their pay including any deductions
  • Offer employees a period of rest (minimum 20 minutes for every 6 hours worked)
  • Keep to the 48-hour average working week unless stipulated and outlined in signed contract 
  • Provide a certain amount of paid holiday each year 
  • Give a dismissal notice of:
    • At least one-week of dismissal notice if person employed longer than 1 month, less than 2 years
    • Two weeks’ notice if employee has been employed continuously for two years, with an additional one week for every year after that.
  • Offer eligible workers statutory sick pay, statutory redundancy pay, statutory pay for maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave.

Employment law advice for employers 

Set out a written statement of employment terms. These should be written into an employee contract, and should cover employee rights, responsibilities, details of holiday allowance, salary, sick pay, a probationary period if this applies, and details of an official start date. 

Your employee contract is a vital document to protect both yourself and the employer, and you should not enter into an agreement of employment without one. What’s more, the contract should be signed before the official start date of employment. 

Strive for a positive working relationship between yourself and your employees. This can ensure that your working relationship remains productive, professional and positive. 

Check in regularly on the wellbeing of your employees and, as a responsible employer, you will be rewarded with a workforce who bring a positive, hardworking attitude to work and fulfil their responsibilities as a trustworthy employee. 

Top Tip: Don’t forget to define gross misconduct within the contract. Hopefully, you will never need to action it, however, should needs be, instant dismissal can be merited if the employee acts in a manner fitting of gross misconduct. 

Employment law advice for employees 

  • Read your contract through thoroughly before you sign it. This is extremely important as it is a legally binding document, and is designed to protect your rights as an employer. 
  • It is important to recognise if your rights as an employee aren’t being met, and what to do about it should they be violated. This could fall under one of the following categories:
      • Unlawful deduction of wages
      • Redundancy
      • Sex Discrimination
      • Sexual Harassment 
      • Race Discrimination 
      • Maternity and Pregnancy Discrimination 
      • Unfair dismissal 

The above are all examples of cases where employment law specialists such as as KLG Law can help. As employment law specialists, we can provide up to date, experienced advice on any of the above, to help ensure your needs are met. 

What’s more, our team have years of experience, meaning you will be represented by an established and professional employment lawyer who will present the best possible case for you. Get in touch today or ring 0800 8321554. 

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