Employment Law

Top 3 Pieces of Employment Law Advice For 2016

Employment law deals with the legalities between employers and employees, making sure that everyone involved is treated fairly and in compliance with the law. Here are three top pieces of advice and information for employers and employees concerning employment law:

1. Employment Contracts:

As stated in the terms of the Employment Act of 1994, employers must provide all employees with a written statement within the first two months. This must contain the following details: the employer’s address and place of work (or a statement declaring that the employees may work in different locations) and the complete names of the employer and employee.

The statement should also contain detailed information on any pension schemes that apply to all the terms and conditions in regards to the amount of hours worked. This includes overtime and the period of notice required to be both given by the employee and received by the employer. Furthermore, the written document must also contain any terms and conditions that relate to sick leave or payment due to incapacity to work because of injury. Any terms and conditions relating to paid leave (excluding paid sick leave, and any collective agreements which affect the employee's employment) must also be made clear.

The date on which the contract expires and the expected duration in a fixed term contract should also be stated, as well as the contract of employment start date, the job role title and the nature of the work to be completed.

Getting this written statement correct could circumvent numerous future complications about employee contracts. If the statement is amended in any way, it needs to be confirmed with both employee and employer in writing. An appropriately drafted contract is recommended but a statement featuring the above is a basic requirement.

2. Equality:

Both the 1998 and 2004 Employment Equality Acts forbade any form of bias based on the gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability and ethnic origin of employees. Discrimination is prohibited by this Act, specifically in regards to access to employment, promotion or reclassification of posts, training or experience.

In October 2010 the Equality Act became law in the UK. In doing so, it replaced previous legislations such as the Race Relations Act of 1976 and the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995, by combining them into one law. This created consistency for the information that both employers and employees needed to know in order to maintain a fairer workplace environment.

3. The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997:

The Organisation of Working Time Act of 1997 states that 48 is the legal maximum average net weekly working hours. There is also a required daily rest break of 11 consecutive hours. The amounts of rest breaks to be taken while at work are also dictated. The maximum hours that can be worked at night, in regards to work involving special hazards, mental or physical strain, has an 8 hour absolute limit within a 24 hour period.

Though the 48 hour net maximum is usually averaged over four months, seasonal effects can cause exceptions resulting in the 48 hour net maximum being averaged over a six month period. However , employees and employers can enter into an agreed variation of this contract. This has been approved by the Labour Court. The Organisation of Working Time Act allows for other exceptions, and employers should familiarise themselves with it.

Goodharts Solicitors are highly experienced employment solicitors and can advise both employers and employees on all aspects of employment law.

To learn more about your rights and obligations as an employer or employee, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0203 705 3080.

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