Your Responsibilities as an Employer in the UK
You will need to hire people if you want your business to grow, no matter how successful you have been on your own. To stay on the right side of the law, you’ll need to learn a number of essential things.
Eligibility to work in the UK
If you intend to employ someone, you should first ensure that they are legally permitted to do so. You could be fined hefty amounts if you hire someone who isn’t eligible to work in the UK.
In recruitment advertisements and hiring procedures, you must also avoid discrimination. Also, someone can sue you for discrimination if they believe you unfairly refused to hire them.
Health & safety
When an employee begins working for you, you have a duty of care towards them. Legislation does not specify this duty – it is derived from common law and can apply in various situations apart from employment. Employers are required to take reasonable steps to ensure their employees’ health, safety, and wellbeing.
Written contracts of employment may include certain policies. All employers are required to give their new employees a written statement of employment within two months following their start date.
Among other information, the statement must mention details about pay, work hours, holiday entitlement, sick leave, pension, notice periods, and any grievance procedures that are in place.
You are required by law to insure your employees, even if they are casual workers.
If you do not have an employers’ liability Insurance policy in place to provide cover for your staff and public liability to protect members of the public who enter your business, you could face fines for every day that you do not have a policy in place.
In order to meet the government’s requirements, employees must be allowed a minimum amount of ‘rest’ each day and each week. Similarly, this requirement applies from the first day of employment and aims to provide employees with the opportunity to rest at work so that their health and safety are not put at risk.
Workers must be paid in accordance with both their contracts of employment and legal obligations.
Under the law for the National Minimum Wage that has been in effect since April 2016, employers must pay workers a minimum rate depending on their age, and this is strictly enforced by the Government. Employees’ ages should be monitored by their employers, and their pay should be raised accordingly.
Employees are entitled to a variety of other rights regarding time off, known in the UK as annual leave. An employment tribunal claim can be brought if one fails to recognise the law’s application in these areas.
In this context, maternity leave is one of the most significant areas. It is essential that employees understand their rights in this area, including their right to request time off for an antenatal appointment.
There are several advantages to this. For example, not only do employers ensure that they follow employment law, but when employees know that their employer supports their rights, they may also be happier.
Employers must offer automatic enrollment pensions for their staff and make contributions to your pension. There are some employers who do not have to enrol you by law, but you can still join their pension scheme if you want to – your employee legally cannot refuse you.
All employers should be aware of their rights. In the workplace, employment law impacts at least one decision every day, such as determining holiday pay or refusing an annual leave request, and unfortunately, ignorance is no defence.