Employment Law – A fleeting Guide
If you are running a company the first thing you need to be abreast of is employment law. Running a company method many things, but most of all it method you have obligations to your workers as they have responsibilities and obligations to you. That being said however, this is not always the easiest thing to keep a tab on. It is not like there are just one or two employment laws. Unfortunately there are enough to fill a book, but we can not get into all of them here. However, we will cover some of the major ones.
The first thing is you would best make sure you are paying your staff at the minimum the minimum wage. Minimum wages to be paid are required by the National Minimum Wage Act (1998), and the National Minimum Wage Regulations (1999). The acts set out what you can pay your workers depending on their age (under 18, under 21 or over 21). The top wage currently set for an employee that is over 21 years of age is £5.52 an hour. These things change yearly so always make sure to stay on top of the changes, or run the risk of running afoul of the law.
You will also find another act that applies directly to your employees. The Working Time Regulations (1998) among other things lays out how much rest your workers are allowed. It addresses holiday leave in addition, as in how much time they are entitled to for the year.
Your workplace would also not be compliant unless you had anti discrimination laws in place. This is fairly standard in todays business arena, but it produces repeating in case you have any questions. It is illegal to discriminate based on gender, sexuality, race, religious belief or disability. In total, there are some eight Acts and Regulations that deal with this area of employment law. In an ideal work world, it would be a good idea to have a copy of all the applicable act and regulations, or have someone on your staff that knows them inside out.
Discrimination laws also cover the fairly new areas of paternity leave and adoption rights. Maternity leave has been a cornerstone of legislation for numerous years. The Acts and Regulations governing these areas lay out the length of time allowed for maternity, paternity and adoption leave, plus how much will be paid out while said employee(s) are on leave. There are other circumstances covered in this legislation, such as extending the leave and under what circumstances, not to mention the right to return to work and when.
There is a lot of ground to cover in this area of employment law and it would be in your own best interests to make sure you are up-to-date with the rules and regulations. Failing that, if your human resources officers have the training in this area, you can rely on them for current information.
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