11 September 2015

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Employment Law compliance is extremely important in all businesses of all sizes and can help reduce the possibility of fines, litigation and court cases. However, when running a small business the owner will be directly responsible to implement these measures and due to lack of time and knowledge may overlook these important requirements.

The following is a very brief overview of the areas to consider; more in depth and specific information can be found at www.gov.uk

1 Pre-employment checks

Straight forward reference checks are a good way to make certain that the applicant is suitable – and eligible – to work within your business. Take verbal and/or written references prior to offer of employment and copy all relevant documents.

2 Employment Contracts

When drafting any contract of employment you must not only comply with employment laws you must also make it relevant to the position being offered. Generic contracts are useful, however be mindful that they are individualised with job description, role and responsibilities and possible future promotions.

3 Induction / Health and Safety

Regardless of position within the business all new staff members should be taken through an induction. Although a Health and Safety policy is not required until 5 people are employed, to build this practise into your employment structure bodes well for future growth. By visiting www.hse.gov.uk you can gather relevant information including risk assessments, policy writing and H&S audits.

4 HR Policies and Procedures

Policies should be customised to individual businesses where possible but need to be regularly updated and understood. Employees should be offered an employee handbook to read at induction and asked to sign that they have read and understood the content. Also any HR legislation changes need to be added and the specific relevance revised. This can incorporate pay structure, holiday entitlement and absentee procedure.

5 Training and CPD

Although not law it is a good idea to include learning and development as part of any employees’ contract. Specific legislation does play a necessary part when the business has to conform to mandatory regulations i.e. gas engineer Gas Safe Register, drivers CPC, etc and training is an essential investment when wanting to grow your business and promote job satisfaction for your staff.

Written by Suzanne Willett, Enterprise Coach, Nwes


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