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Our guide to how employment law affects your business and how to manage it

Whether your business is big or small, employment law will affect you if you employee members of staff. Our guide takes you through everything you need to know about employment law before hiring someone, whilst they are an employee and everything in between. While there are many aspects to consider, if you keep up to date with your employee paperwork and legislative changes, employment law can be a lot less daunting.

Pre-employment checks

You might be wondering where to begin when it comes to employment law. The logical place to start is as soon as you decide to hire someone. There are several pieces of paperwork that must be correct and in place before you can hire someone. One of the most important is of course their right to work in the UK. As an employer you must ask potential staff for certain documents such as:

–          A passport showing they are a British citizen

–          A residence permit, registration, certificate or document certifying or showing permanent residence from the Home Office, Border or Immigration Agency

–          A birth or adoption certificate from the UK

If any of your employees are found to not have the correct documentation or right to work in the UK, your company could be fined and face criminal charges so this an essential aspect of employment law to keep aware of.

A contract is often the second thing you should think about when adhering to employment laws.  It is your legal obligation as an employer to provide your employees with a written contract detailing their terms of employment. This should include everything from salary and holiday allowance to sick leave and health and safety. If you are small business in particular, you may be tempted to over look something like a contract but this is something you should never do as it can both protect you and your employees in the long run. This is true of many aspects of employment law as taking shortcuts can often come back to bite you.

Ongoing considerations

Employment law doesn’t stop affecting you once these pre-employment checks are done. There are many important factors to consider in the day to day running of your business to ensure that you keep on the right side of the law. We will now detail some of the most imperative policies to get right in your workplace.

Now more than ever discrimination and equality are often spoke about with regards to employment law. You should have an Equal Opportunities Policy in place which will ensure that employees are given the same opportunities, they are not discriminated against or dismissed unfairly. Again, having such a policy in place can protect both employees and employers so it is well worth familiarising yourself with the process.

Pensions are another aspect to continually keep up to date with when it comes to being an employer. From 2017 the ‘auto-enrolment’ scheme came into place meaning that employees are automatically enrolled into their work place pension schemes and must therefore contact the pensions company if they do not wish to be. As the employer you will be responsible for making monthly contributions to each employee who takes part in the pensions scheme. Again, keep an eye out for regulatory changes or updates.

Keeping up to date with changes

This guide has covered just some of the aspects of employment law to consider before hiring and whilst having steady employees. To make sure you keep on the right side of the law, you must keep up with any changes or developments to employment law, these could be things like data protection laws or changes to the minimum wage. If your company has many employees, your best option may be to hire an HR manager who will have extensive knowledge about the documents, policies, and regulations to be aware of. They will also have more time to dedicate to keeping up with changes and how they will affect the business. An HR manager or HR department can also provide some distance between the employee and the employer if there is a problem or concern raised. Of course, smaller businesses can get by without a specific HR manager but you must be careful to protect both the team member and yourself by having the right paperwork and policies in place.

If you’re unsure about where to start with employment law as employer, don’t hesitate to get in touch with MM Legal today. We provide employment law advice for both employers and employees.