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As a business owner, it is crucial to understand the basics of UK employment law before hiring employees to avoid legal mishaps. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
Although it is not legally required, having a written employment contract is advisable to clearly outline the terms of employment for both the employer and employee. It is mandatory for the employer to provide a written statement of the main terms and conditions of employment if the employment contract exceeds one month. The written statement must include various details such as the employee’s name, job title and start date, pay, hours of work, and holiday entitlement.
Protecting the Interests of the Business:
Businesses must ensure that their interests are protected by including relevant provisions in the employment contract that safeguard against confidentiality breaches, client poaching, staff retention, supplier protection, and intellectual property infringement. Employers have to be cautious when including post-termination restrictions and must be reasonably necessary to protect the interests of the business.
Generally, employees need to have at least two years of service to bring an unfair dismissal claim. However, some claims such as whistleblowing or discrimination claims do not have this minimum requirement. To avoid these issues, it is advisable to follow some form of process in all dismissal cases.
Employers must not discriminate against job applicants or employees on the basis of protected characteristics such as age, race, gender, religion, and others.
Employers must also comply with the General Data Protection Regulations(GDPR) that require processing of personal data in a lawful and transparent manner. Employers must also provide employees with detailed information on how their personal data is being processed.
Other areas of UK employment law such as business transfers, whistleblowing, and monitoring may also be applicable to your business.
Note that this article serves as a guiding light and should not be solely relied upon for specific advice.
Matt Gingell, managing partner of Lombards, has provided this insightful article.
Additional articles on small business HR to check out:
– How to best manage inductions for hybrid staff
– A guide to HR outsourcing for small business
– Six HR mistakes start-ups make and how to avoid them