A Brief Guide to Employment Law for New Employers

It can be an exciting time for a business owner when their business has grown large enough to employ people to continue with the required expansion. However, there are some key points that every new employer should be aware of so they do not fall foul of employment laws that regulate employers and their employees.

1. Employers should issue an employment contract within 12 weeks of an employee’s start date. Failure to do so could mean that an employer has immediately broken the law. The contract should outline the terms and conditions of employment and include things such as remuneration, working hours, holiday allowance and holiday pay.

2. Ensuring that a business employs the right people is important and during the employment process care should be taken not to discriminate in any way against potential employees, this includes discriminating on the basis of age, race and disability.

3. The National minimum wage should be a consideration as this varies according to age of employee.

4. Job descriptions are an important part of employing staff. If staff do not have clear and defined roles outlining their duties and exactly what is expected of them then this can lead to constructive and unfair dismissal cases.

5. The grievance policy should be set out and explained clearly at an early phase of an employee’s employment. An employee has a right to express a grievance either with their line manager or know the protocol if the grievance is with their line manager. Failure to clearly outline this policy can also lead to employers being taken to an employment tribunal.

It is important for employers to realise that employee’s have rights in the workplace and that failure to observe these rights can lead to breaches of employment law. It is becoming increasingly common for employee’s who have been on the receiving end of a breach of employment law to seek the specialist help of employment lawyers who are experts in helping them obtain justice.

This help is not just for the employee though employers are increasingly employing the services of employment law specialists to help them either prevent potential breaches of the law by drawing up employment contracts or providing terms and conditions for them to give to employee’s. In some cases employers will use employment solicitors to act on their behalf if an employee does decide to try and take the employer to an employment tribunal.