A guide to employment contract law

Askew shot of contract with pen on top.

Small businesses and startups looking to take on staff need to curate an in-depth, ongoing knowledge of employment contract law if they are to prosper. Scores of businesses have in the past found themselves embroiled in legal action after failing to adhere to employment law, and breaches can come to be very costly indeed. Employers are duty-bound to pay respect to employment law, which serves the purpose of ensuring that the rights of workers and employees are protected. The law aims to ensure that staff are treated fairly and not discriminated against. The rules and regulations can be incredibly complex, however, which is why it pays to read up on them to ensure that expensive legal proceedings that might be taken against you are not successful. This applies to businesses of all sizes.

Staying within employment law

Employment law covers things like the way employees are treated, working hours, holidays and pay as well as the various aspects pertaining to events where takeovers might occur. Employment contract law is concerned with ensuring that the terms outlined in any document are fair and legal. Whenever an employee is taken on, a contract including terms and conditions must be given to them within two months. In a contract, rights and obligations are given to both an employer and employee. The main terms that you will find in an employment contract include reasonable and clear instructions given to an employee about how to conduct themselves while in employment.

Protecting rights

There are certain rights that you are entitled to benefit from whether a contract is signed or not. These include things like being granted at least the minimum wage as well as your right to paid holidays. Employers are not permitted to place terms that undermine what an employee is entitled to under the law. Contracts include both express terms and implied terms, and it is in the area of implied terms that confusion often arises. This explains why so many people find themselves enlisting the services of employment lawyers. Employers need to work hard to ensure that the rights and obligations afforded to staff such as equal pay and action being taken in the event of bullying and harassment are treated with respect and what to do if they are breached.

Find support from lawyers

This leaves employers with a lot to get to grips with and means that they must have a full understanding of how to deal with employee grievances, equal pay, maternity and paternity rights, discrimination and other issues such as termination of employment. Keeping up to date with the various changes that can and do take place can be difficult, but it is a necessity for any employer that wishes to stay on the right side of the law. When legal issues around employment contracts do arise, many local employers do enlist the services of solicitors. Firms wishing to stay clued-up on employment law regularly employ a person within their organisation to take responsibility for such matters.