Employment and the Law

Employment and the Law

  • Employment Law: This refers to collection of laws that govern the relationship between employers and their employees. They safeguard both the workers’ and employers’ rights.

  • Types of Employment Contracts: Full-time and part-time contracts, temporary and permanent contracts, fixed-term contracts, zero hour contracts. Each has its own legal implications and rights related to working hours, holidays, sick pay, and redundancy.

  • Workplace Rights: All employees are entitled to certain basic rights, including a safe and secure working environment, a minimum wage, and protection against unlawful discrimination.

  • Employment Protection: Includes laws around unfair dismissal, redundancy, and tribunals. Workers cannot be fired without proper grounds and due process.

  • Discrimination Law: Legislation like the Equality Act 2010 protects employees from being discriminated against based on age, gender, race, sexuality, disability etc.

  • Workers Protection: Laws ensure employees have a right to rest breaks, paid holidays, maternity and paternity leave etc.

  • National Minimum Wage: Different for different age bands, it’s the minimum pay per hour an employee should get.

  • Health and Safety Laws: Legislation like the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 ensure that employers are creating safe working environments to minimise the chances of accidents or harm.

  • Trade Unions: These are groups of employees who join together to maintain their rights in workplace.They may negotiate with a single employer (who can be either a company, a group of companies, or an individual) on behalf of their members regarding terms and conditions of employment.

  • Employment Tribunal: Employees can take employers here if they feel their rights have been violated. This is a special court that deals only with employment disputes.

  • Redundancy: This occurs when an employer needs to reduce their workforce. If a person is made redundant, they could be eligible for a certain amount of statutory redundancy pay.

  • Dismissal: An employee can lose their job due to misconduct or capability, but the employer must follow a fair process otherwise the dismissal may be deemed unfair.

  • Maternity and Paternity Rights: Laws that provide certain benefits and rights when a child is about to be born or has just been born, including statutory maternity leave, statutory maternity pay, and similar rules for fathers.

  • Whistleblowing Laws: Legislation protects employees who reveal wrongdoing or illegal activity within an organisation. They cannot be dismissed or penalised for revealing the information.

Remember, the importance of understanding how these laws impact business operations and decisions is crucial. They can influence hiring practises, how employees are treated in the workplace, and even how a business responds during times of change and difficulty.