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HR and Employment Law for Employers: The Ultimate Guide

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Calendar January 26, 2021

Employment law is one of the most challenging areas for employers to keep up with. The law is constantly evolving and a simple lapse in judgement can cost an employer thousands of pounds if they are taken to the employment tribunal by an aggrieved employee. This guide will highlight the importance of HR and explain how KLG can assist you with employment law.

KLG offers HR support for businesses along with our range of employment law services. Read on to find out the latest in human resources advice and how, as an employer, HR should be a priority.

How Important is HR?

The importance of Human Resources within a business can often be overlooked. There is a common misconception that HR only deals with paperwork and disputes, but there is so much more to the role that goes unnoticed.

Behind the scenes, HR works hard to promote the development of employees within the business. By managing, liaising and supporting employees, an effective HR team will build relationships and improve performance levels amongst employees. This is a time-consuming process but it will eventually lead to business growth and a strong public image.

Some common tasks completed by HR may include:

  • Managing the recruitment of new staff;
  • Ensuring new staff complete an induction and enrolment process. This will also involve supporting the new employee in their adjustment to role;
  • Processing payroll;
  • Providing information on benefit scheme is available at the business and facilitating the use of benefits by employees;
  • Handling holiday requests to balance functionality of the business and allowing employees to use their annual leave entitlement;
  • Arranging training sessions or development classes for employees so they are up-to-date with the latest changes in processes or their area of work;
  • Ensuring decisions are made in compliance with employment law to avoid Tribunal claims;
  • Monitoring compliance with other areas e.g. health and safety.

In today’s society, HR is more important than ever. With the COVID-19 ‘lockdown’ and a record number of employees adjusting to working from home, HR will play an integral role in providing support and sensitivity during an unusual time.

Health and Safety in Construction

There is a burden on the employer to ensure the health and safety of staff is protected at the workplace. It is important not only for the staff’s safety, but also because a personal injury claim can be extremely costly, and possibly crippling, to a business.

It is impossible to have an accident-proof workplace but employers must take reasonable steps to protect staff. This is likely to include undertaking a risk assessment to review the workplace for any hazards. Employers can then make reasonable adjustments to protect staff, such as ensuring protective equipment is available.

Working hours and employee rights

More than ever it is important to establish the correct ‘employment status’ for staff. In more simple terms, to establish whether they are an employee, self-employed, or a worker. The new IR35 rules coming into force in April 2020 shifts the responsibility on the employer, not the individual.

The construction industry often has employees and workers working beyond the traditional ‘9 to 5’. Employers must be careful not to fall foul of the Working Time Regulations and allow individuals to work hours or days in excess of the prescribed limits. One way to avoid this issue is to provide staff with a working time opt-out agreement. This will allow individuals that want to work longer hours to waive their rights under the Working Time Regulations.

Redundancy in education

The importance of a fair redundancy process cannot be overlooked by employers. A genuine redundancy can still lead to a claim for unfair dismissal if the process is flawed. Employees who would not normally be entitled to a redundancy payment due to their length of service may also be eligible to bring an employment tribunal claim for discrimination if the redundancy process is discriminatory. Therefore, it is crucial that employers carry out a fair redundancy process to avoid the cost and reputational damage caused by employment tribunal claims.

Sick leave entitlement

Eligible employee’s that meet the required criteria will be entitled to statutory sick pay regardless of whether they are permanent, fixed term, or part time employees. Even zero-hour workers, casual workers and agency workers may be entitled to receive statutory sick pay. These same individuals may all be entitled to additional ‘Company’ sick pay depending on the businesses specific sick leave policies.

Employment law is always changing and sick leave entitlement is yet another example of this. New sick leave guidelines have been recently implemented specifically for COVID-19 related absences from work.

Employers should be aware of their responsibilities to avoid issues with HMRC or potential claims for unlawful deduction from wages. Sick leave is a delicate subject and employers should always err on the side of caution when managing staff who are off sick from work. An illness can amount to a ‘disability’ under the Equality Act 2010 meaning any detrimental treatment could lead to a claim for discrimination. Employers may also need to make reasonable adjustments to support the individual.

Redundancy in the medical industry

The importance of a fair redundancy process cannot be overlooked by employers. A genuine redundancy can still lead to a claim for unfair dismissal if the process is flawed. Employees who would not normally be entitled to a redundancy payment due to their length of service may also be eligible to bring an employment tribunal claim for discrimination if the redundancy process is discriminatory. Therefore, it is crucial that employers carry out a fair redundancy process to avoid the cost and reputational damage caused by employment tribunal claims.

The importance of a fair redundancy process cannot be overlooked by employers. A genuine redundancy can still lead to a claim for unfair dismissal if the process is flawed. Employees who would not normally be entitled to a redundancy payment due to their length of service may also be eligible to bring an employment tribunal claim for discrimination if the redundancy process is discriminatory. Therefore, it is crucial that employers carry out a fair redundancy process to avoid the cost and reputational damage caused by employment tribunal claims.

To find out more about how KLG can help you with your situation, contact us today. We are a firm that specialise in employment law, and can provide employment law services for employers as well as employment law advice. Discover our range of services here or contact one of our redundancy lawyers today.

Redundancy in the charity sector

The importance of a fair redundancy process cannot be overlooked by employers. A genuine redundancy can still lead to a claim for unfair dismissal if the process is flawed. Employees who would not normally be entitled to a redundancy payment due to their length of service may also be eligible to bring an employment tribunal claim for discrimination if the redundancy process is discriminatory. Therefore, it is crucial that employers carry out a fair redundancy process to avoid the cost and reputational damage caused by employment tribunal claims.

Redundancy in the hospitality and leisure industry

The importance of a fair redundancy process cannot be overlooked by employers. A genuine redundancy can still lead to a claim for unfair dismissal if the process is flawed. Employees who would not normally be entitled to a redundancy payment due to their length of service may also be eligible to bring an employment tribunal claim for discrimination if the redundancy process is discriminatory. Therefore, it is crucial that employers carry out a fair redundancy process to avoid the cost and reputational damage caused by employment tribunal claims.

KLG’s HR Support

At KLG we offer HR services and HR advice to small businesses, medium businesses and large businesses. We provide bespoke human resources advice tailored to your business and any areas of concern. For example, we have experience in assisting with TUPE transfers and disciplinary and grievance proceedings.

Our team is equipped to support an existing HR team, or we can step in with our team to effectively become your HR department. KLG will provide you with the latest information on UK employment legislation and UK employment law that will impact your business. Contact us for further information on 0330 221 0684 or info@klglaw.co.uk.

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