Don’t get bogged down by Employment Law

Skilled employees are the backbone of any successful organisation. Like any valuable asset it makes sense to protect them and many regulations have been passed to ensure that every person gets treated well at work.

The problem is that employment law is often complex and regularly updated. For example, in April 2017 alone there were a number of updates in relation to1:

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

  • Whistleblowing
  • Family friendly payments
  • Gender pay gap reporting
  • Apprenticeship levy
  • Increased tribunal compensation limits
  • New National Insurance thresholds and statutory sick pay (SSP)
  • Immigration skills charge (Tier 2)
  • IR35 tax rules in the public sector
  • Taxation of benefits via salary sacrifice schemes

Keeping up to date can feel like a significant burden. After all making sense of new legislation and its impact on your business and writing and communicating new policies can become the day job. But maintaining good practice can help your business avoid costly claims and increase employee wellbeing.

This is particularly important when you consider that in 2015/16 £470,865 was awarded for an unfair dismissal claim and £1,762,130 awarded for a sex discrimination claim2.

Some of the most common employment-related claims include:

  • Unfair dismissal
  • Discrimination
  • Breaches of the Working Time Regulations
  • Breach of contract
  • Unauthorised Deductions from wages

So what can you do?

Employers today don’t just need to make sure they follow all the rules; they need to ensure their employees follow them as well. To protect both their employees and their company, managers need to stay up to date on the risks and issues inherent to the employer-employee relationship and comply with the relevant rules and procedures. Consider reviewing:

  • Who is responsible for HR in your business? Is this their sole responsibility or one of many?
  • What HR policies do you have in place and how often are they revisited/ updated? Do these accurately reflect your business needs?
  • Do you have an up to date Employee Handbook in place which outlines relevant policies and procedures? Is this made reasonably accessible to all employees?
  • Are your employees issued with at least basic written particulars of employment within the first 8 weeks of their start date as required by law and are you confident that the employment contracts you have in place provide your business with the upmost protection?
  • What training your supervisors/ managers could benefit from? For instance interview skills, performance reviews, managing sickness absence and difficult employees. Would your managers benefit from training in relation to how to handle that tricky disciplinary/dismissal, what to do if an employee raises a grievance and how to identify and address discrimination or harassment within the workplace?

Find out more about how we can help you. Contact Rachel Dobson or book a course online today.

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1 CIPD cipd.co.uk
2 https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/tribunals-and-gender-recognition-certificate-statistics-quarterly-april-to-june-2016