Nowhere in the world of commerce does the law present such a plethora of legislation as in Employment Law. All businesses should take steps to remain aware of the law.
Contracts of Employment
Any employer-employee relationship involves, by definition, a contract between the parties – whether that contract be encompassed in a formal written document or a loosely defined oral agreement. It is unwise for any employer not to have written contracts with all employees where the rights, duties, and responsibilities of both parties are clearly laid out and not subject to conjecture or interpretation.
An employee of more than one year’s standing cannot be dismissed, without following a fair and proper procedure: to fail to do so leads to a risk of an unfair dismissal claim. Any employer contemplating dismissing an employee or employees, for whatever reason, should seek professional advice before taking action – it is, otherwise, so easy to fall foul of the legislation.
Entitlement to Leave
Every employee in the UK is entitled to a minimum of 24 working days paid annual leave, in addition to public holidays. Employees who are expectant mothers are entitled to maternity leave, and to continue in their existing job on return from that leave.
In addition parents of young children are entitled to take parental leave and fathers of newborn babies or young children are entitled to take paternity leave.
Discrimination at Work
All employees (and potential employees) are entitled to protection from discrimination on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion age or disability. It is the employer’s responsibility to assure such protection. Not only must the policies of the business be such as to prevent discrimination, but the employer also is normally liable if any of its managers or other employees practices discrimination.
There are no limits on the amount of compensation which may be awarded.