How employment law affects an organisations HR and business policies and practices
Employment Law governs all aspects of the employee and employer relationship and can be seen right across every workplace in its HR and business policies and practices.
The relationship between employers and their employees is the foundation of any successful organisation. From hiring, contracts, working conditions, pay, grievances, entitlement to parental leave, business takeovers, employee relationships and more, Employment Law affects every single employee’s experience in the workplace but crucially sets the standards that HR and leadership teams must follow when it comes to managing matters that impact employees in the following broad areas:
Discipline, grievances and dismissal procedures
Bullying and harassment
Maternity and parental rights
Discrimination for age, sexual orientation, marital status, race, gender, religion, disability, pregnancy etc.
Health and safety regulations
TUPE and redundancy
Holidays, working hours and pay
Terms and conditions of employment
What Is Employment Law?
Employment Law is designed to protect the rights of employees whilst ensuring that employers act fairly, responsibility and in line with statutory requirements set by the Law.
Employment Law sets out and governs what both parties can expect from each other, what employers can ask employees to do and what rights employees have at their place of work. It also sets the parameters for what should happen if either party falls short of their expectations.
The full guidance can be found under the Employment Rights Act 1996.
The Role Of HR
Human Resources, or HR as it’s more commonly referred to, is a department that can be found in most workplaces. HR managers will be responsible for the overall safety, performance, working practices and wellbeing of employees, as well as ultimately ensuring that all Employment Laws are managed and upheld correctly.
This includes broad areas such as recruitment, getting new starters settled into their new role, ensuring that they are happy and treated fairly in the workplace without discrimination, ensuring on-going training needs are met, and of course making sure they are paid correctly.
In order to fulfil these core functions, HR professionals should have an excellent understanding of Employment Law and any relevant updates made to this. The Employment laws surrounding these broad areas provide guidance and how matters should be handled in the event of grievances and complaints between staff.
What Must Employers Do?
Employers must pay attention to and understand Employment Law in order to create, share and implement policies and procedures that govern and protect employees when fulfilling their roles.
These practices must align with Employment Law, as well as the objectives of the company, and should be shared with all staff.
Understand and meet employer legal obligations under Employment Law
Proactively review and update policies to ensure the workplace is compliant
Ensure staff are updated with any new or updated HR & business policies
Any non-compliance, or employee complaints relating to business policies and practices must be taken seriously. If an employee or regulating body makes a legal challenge and is successful, this can incur hefty fines for an employer if they are found to be in breach of Employment Law.