Employment law is constantly changing, with new legislation being introduced on a regular basis. The consequences of failing to follow employment law can be costly to a business – in both monetary and reputation terms. Here are 10 employment law facts you need to know. 

Register as an employer

If you’re employing even one member of staff, you must register with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as an employer. This means reporting payroll information.

Run background checks

Make sure your staff are legally allowed to work in the UK and keep a record of all documentation.

Provide a written statement of employment particulars

An employer must give employees and workers a document stating the main conditions of employment when they start work. This is known as a ‘written statement of employment particulars’. It is not an employment contract. The written statement is made up of the main document (known as a ‘principal statement’) and a wider written statement. The employer must provide the principal statement on the first day of employment and the wider written statement within 2 months of the start of employment.

Provide a contract of employment

A contract is an agreement that sets out an employee’s employment conditions, rights, responsibilities and duties.

Pay minimum wage or above

You must ensure that you pay all employees at least the minimum wage, check out the latest rates on the government page.

Pay full holiday entitlement

All employees are entitled to 5.6 weeks paid holiday per year, and part-time workers the same on a pro-rata basis.

Auto-enrol eligible employees

Into a workplace pension. Unless they opt out, you must give them access to a contributory pension and make contributions from your business to their fund.

Understand the rules on sick pay

All employers must pay Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for their workers.  The government has a useful calculator to work out how much you need to pay. Check out our full blog on sick pay.

Comply with health and safety legislation

It is an employer’s duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees and other people who might be affected by their business. Employers must do whatever is reasonably practicable to achieve this. Visit the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) website for full details on what this should involve.

Understand maternity rights and pay

To qualify for statutory maternity leave employees must have an employment contract (it doesn’t matter how long they have worked for you), and give you the correct notice (at least 15 weeks prior to the baby’s due date). Statutory adoption leave is the same, and paternity leave covers one or two weeks of consecutive paid leave for a partner. Statutory maternity pay and adoption pay is at a rate of 90% of the employee’s normal weekly earnings for the first six weeks. For a full breakdown, the government has an employer guide on its site.

You must provide details of your disciplinary rules and procedures

Even if you only employ one person. For guidance take a look at the ACAS Code of Practice.

For more information on how we can help with employment law, get in touch.