By Karen Bexley, partner and head of employment law at MLP Law
Employers looking to expand their workforce and take on more staff must first be diligent to the law when it comes to employer obligations. There is a long list of legal requirements that employers must adhere to guarantee they are not liable. And whilst this can seem daunting, ensuring the right documentation and processes are in place can help to placate these fears and can ensure the business is operating within the law.
Fulfilling all legal requirements can also help to promote a positive working environment as an employee who feels like their employer has their best interests in mind is more likely to be content in their role. This in turn can help to increase productivity levels and can go towards retaining the best talent. In order to meet all legal requirements when it comes to hiring and retaining employees, there are six key areas that employers must adhere to:
- Employment contract
It is worth noting that whether or not this is disclosed in the contract, it is the law that all employees are entitled to annual holiday entitlements, minimum notice periods and statutory sick pay. The employer should use the employment contract as an opportunity to outline all workplace expectations. It should also include all the necessary information to protect against any employment disputes such as issues surrounding unfair dismissal claims. There are a number of items which are not put in place by law, but which would be helpful to include in the employment contract, these include:
- Probationary periods
- Confidentiality obligations
- The right to recover overpayments and training costs
- Post-termination restrictions (for senior employees).
- Statutory sick pay
- Wage requirements
- Notice periods
Getting to grips with the legal requirements can help to save valuable time and money and can help to protect against any problems that might arise. Employers need to take their responsibilities seriously to ensure they promote a positive working environment and to prevent finding themselves in hot water later down the line.