In these tough economic times, employers have enough to deal with, without the constantly changing picture of employment law legislation. Inevitably, in this day and age, employers run the risk of disputes in the workplace and it is very important to get advice from qualified experts, otherwise, you run the risk of being subject to the growing number of litigation claims that take place in the UK each week.
At Employ Solutions, we are solely focused on offering expert employment law advice for employers and unlike many of our competitors, we do not offer advice to employees as we feel this can be seen as a conflict of interest. We are passionate about protecting employers and offering free, expert advice when it comes to dealing with issues in the workplace.
In the UK the law changes every six months, April and October. The changes can be anything from minor amendments to current legislation to major changes and the introduction of new legislation. No matter what the changes are, employers need to be aware of them and ensure that documentation is amended and brought in to line with the law in order to protect them from successful claims against them. In October 2010, the introduction of the Equality Act changes the way in which employment law impacts companies throughout the UK. Before the introduction of the Equality Act, the majority of claims that were made against employers were for breach of contract, unfair dismissal, and illegal deductions of wages. Since October this has reversed, the majority of claims are for, or include a discrimination claim which carries unlimited awards. The Equality Act is aimed at protecting groups of individuals which include age, race, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, religious belief, pregnancy, disability & marital status. The kinds of discrimination that people within these groups can claim for have also changed, these now include direct, indirect & associative discrimination, harassment & third party harassment, and victimization. Employers must have clear, up-to-date equal opportunities policies and procedures and a robust policy for any staff member to report any kind of discrimination immediately.
In October 2011, the government changed the rates of minimum wage for all ages. This will have a major effect on small businesses that employ staff on the minimum wage and apprenticeships. People aged over 21 are now entitled to a minimum of £6.08 per hour, that is an increase of 15p per hour. Apprenticeships should now be paid £2.60, an increase of 10p with people aged 16-17 getting £3.68 and 18-20 years of age £4.98 which is a 4p per hour increase respectively.
There have been several other changes to employment law which employers must be made aware of in order to ensure they are protected and up to date with legislation to avoid taking the risk of becoming yet another victim of the growing ‘make a claim’ culture in the UK.
Employ Solutions provide business owners with updates, guidance & advice on these changes and more importantly, assist them with the implementation of appropriate contracts, policies, and procedures in order to comply and protect them from the law. Therefore, leaving them with more time to focus on the growth and stability of their business concerning employment laws in the UK.