Managing staff, whether your business is big or small, should be one of your top priorities. This means having to understand things like employment laws. If you don’t follow the relevant employment laws, you could land the business in deep trouble.
It’s not something that you can afford to let happen. In some cases, your business can be forced to pay out large compensation sums to individual employees.
Here are some common employment law mistakes and the damage they can inflict.
1. Not Getting Documents in Order
There is a lot of paperwork to go through before hiring someone. To begin with, you have to ensure that the person you’re hiring has the legal right to work in the country. And then there might be other certificates and qualifications that you’ll need to check. But that depends on the type of job being undertaken.
Getting the contract in order is also vital. Every employee has a right to a contract, and it should be in place and sorted as quickly as possible. When you’re drawing these contracts up, you should use employment law experts. That way, you will avoid loopholes or problems that could lead to law disputes later on. They can be very expensive for a company to deal with.
2. Failing to Handle Investigations Properly
If someone has a complaint in the office, it’s important to take it seriously. This is important from the point of view of you wanting a harmonious and productive workforce. But it’s also important from a legal point of view. So, if someone complains about bullying in the workplace, this is up to you to deal with.
It’s the legal responsibility of the employer to provide a safe working environment for everyone. In the same way, it’s important for employees being investigated for misconduct to be given a fair investigation.
3. Making Contract Changes Without Employee Consent
As mentioned above, every employee is entitled to a contract that outlines their pay, conditions, and other variables. A verbal agreement alone is not good enough. Once those terms and conditions are set in place, they can’t simply be changed on a whim. The contract is binding when both parties sign it. And it’s up to the employer to take it upon themselves to change the terms.
Even if you write into the contract that it’s subject to changes, that doesn’t mean you can just make changes without the employee’s consent. What happens if you do this is the employee will file a breach of contract claim against the company, and that can be damaging.
It is against the law to discriminate against someone in the workplace or when your business is hiring. There are many forms of discrimination that can take place in a working environment. People can be discriminated against on the basis of their race, religion, sex or disability, for example.
These are all things that you should be aware. It’s also against the law to refuse to employee a woman who is pregnant or to ask someone about whether they plan to have children. These kinds of issues are still common among many employers, but that doesn’t make them alright.