Employment Law For SME’s; Charting A Course To Success

Employment law may seem overwhelming and complex, but it’s essential to get it right. Failure to comply with employment laws can result in expensive fines, legal action, and damage to your business reputation. In this post, our Chief People Officer, Stephanie Maley discusses the top four areas you need to consider when navigating the world of employment law. 

Understanding and complying with employment laws

Many small business owners are not aware of basic employment laws like Right to Work checks, minimum wage, and discrimination laws. Ignorance is not a defence, and non-compliance can result in severe consequences for your business. Right to Work checks, for example, are mandatory in the UK, and failure to conduct these checks could result in a penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker. It’s essential to ensure your business is compliant with all employment laws and regulations to avoid costly mistakes.

Have clear policies and procedures in place

Small businesses often lack formal policies and procedures for dealing with issues like performance evaluations, promotions, and terminations. Without clear guidelines, managers may make inconsistent or unfair decisions that could lead to legal problems. Having a well-documented process shows how an employer has reviewed objective factors, which can help defend discrimination claims. SMEs should have a clear employee handbook and ensure all staff receives a copy and understands it.

Provide proper documentation

Small businesses often neglect to document important aspects of the employment relationship, such as job descriptions, performance evaluations, and disciplinary actions. This lack of documentation can make it difficult to defend against discrimination or wrongful termination claims. GDPR legislation affords everyone Data Subject Access Rights, under which an employee can seek access to relevant information pertaining to them. Some smaller businesses have suffered twofold under this legislation, as not only have they not correctly documented progress through a procedure, but sometimes they create an audit trail which shows that ultimately their decisions to dismiss were flawed and based on information which was not pertinent to the case. It’s essential to document all important aspects of the employment relationship and ensure it’s stored securely.

Provide proper training

Many small businesses fail to provide their managers and employees with the training they need to understand and comply with employment laws. This lack of training can result in legal violations and costly mistakes. Providing regular training for line managers and employees can help create a positive culture of compliance and engagement.

At Factotum, we work with businesses to ensure they comply with employment laws and avoid costly mistakes. We can help you understand your obligations as an employer, create clear policies and procedures, provide documentation, and provide training for your managers and employees.

We can also provide access to in-house legal counsel and specialist employment lawyers if required, so you can focus on growing your business with confidence.

Don’t let employment law become a burden to your business – contact us today to see how we can help.

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