Getting Your House in Order
The concept of “spring cleaning” is not restricted to householders.
The approach of spring is an ideal time for employers to review existing employment documentation and procedures.
For employers, a comprehensive “spring clean” involves taking proactive steps to ensure that the business is fully compliant with relevant employment laws and regulations.
The law relating to employment is an ever-changing landscape and it is important for employers to ensure that their business is, and remains, protected against changes to the law prompted by statute or by decisions of courts and employment tribunals.
The following are some key areas to focus on in terms of employment law when spring cleaning your business:
- Employment Contracts:
- Review and update employment contracts to ensure they are fully compliant with current laws and regulations.
- Ensure that all necessary clauses, such as termination, confidentiality, and post-termination restriction clauses, are appropriately drafted and legally enforceable.
- The Government has proposed to make a change to “non-compete” type restrictions and this could have serious consequences for employers wishing to protect a commercial interest
- Policies and Procedures:
- Evaluate and update your employee handbook or policies to reflect any changes in employment laws.
- Ensure that your policies cover important areas such as anti-discrimination, harassment, data protection, whistleblowing and health &safety.
- Wage and Hour Compliance:
- Review your company payment practices to ensure compliance with Working Time Regulations including minimum wage law and holiday leave pay.
- The law has changed with regard to calculation of annual leave allowing for “rolled up holiday pay which was not permitted for a period of time.
- Employee Classification:
- Examine the classification of workers as employees or independent contractors to ensure compliance with employment law.
- The consequences of getting this wrong can cost money and open the business to cost and legal risk.
- Workplace Health and Safety:
- Conduct a safety audit to ensure that the workplace is safe and complies with health and safety regulations.
- Train employees in relation to safety procedures and emergency protocols.
- Discrimination and Harassment Prevention:
- Conduct training sessions to educate employees on preventing and reporting discrimination and harassment.
- Ensure that the procedure provides for prompt investigation of any complaints, from employees or the wider group of “workers” and in accordance with your policies and the law.
- Review and update your documentation relating to sick leave, vacation, family leave, and other types of leave to comply with relevant laws.
- The legal procedure relating to flexible working applications has recently changed.
- Ensure that your record-keeping practices meet legal requirements, including maintaining accurate employee HR records and documentation of key business employment decisions.
- Data Privacy:
- Review your data protection policies to ensure compliance with privacy laws, especially if you handle sensitive employee information.
- The penalty for failing to meet your GDPR obligations can be severe.
- Training and Development:
- Provide ongoing training for managers and HR staff to keep them informed about changes in employment laws and best practices.
- Most employers expect managers to carry out the duties associated with management without providing direction on how to do so.
- Posters and Notices:
- Display required Health & Safety notices in a visible and accessible location to inform employees of their rights.
Taking the time to assess and update these aspects of your employment practices can help mitigate legal risks by ensuring workplace compliance.
The communication of changes to staff can help employees to feel connected to the business which can assist with levels of productivity and staff retention.
We shall be happy to advise on the “spring cleaning “ process and to answer any questions you may have. If you would like to discuss the information outlined in this blog post, please get in touch with Stuart Robertson by email or by phone at +(0) 7793 821 523.