Explaining Employment Law | LabourBlawg

Explaining Employment Law

by Employment Blawg on September 9, 2012

The following is a guest post regarding employment law in the UK. For expert employment law advice contact an employment solicitor.

Employment law regulates the relationships between employers, the people they employ, and unions, when applicable. In the UK this law is composed of a few statutes and regulations and a large body of common-law judicial decisions, the latter being necessary because the nature of employment changes continually along with changes in the international and EU law and the economic, social, and technological environment.

Employment Categories

UK statutes and case law refer to workers and employees, and the three smaller categories of apprentices, jobholders, and people with employment relations, to which different aspects of the law apply. The government limits the freedom of employers to establish the terms under which they employ people due to the established legal recognition that the bargaining power of the two is inherently unequal.

Employment Rights Act 1996

This legislation protects such rights as the right to a written employment contract setting forth the nature of the job’s terms and conditions, not to be dismissed unfairly, to fair pay with written pay statements, to protection against what it calls ‘detriment’ for whistle-blowing, to paid time off for ante-natal care, training, and such public service as jury duty, to receive a minimum amount of paid holidays annually, to decline to work more than a specified number of hours per week, to enrol in a pension plan, to maternity leave and pay, paternity, and parental leave, to request flexible working arrangements and to receive written reasons if this is declined, to a safe working environment, to redundancy payments after a set period of employment, to equal treatment, and to protection from discrimination.

Health, Safety, Liability, & Compensation

Although the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 grants workers the right to codetermine their workplaces’ health and safety policies, it makes employers responsible for identifying and minimising risks, explaining risk-control measures clearly, providing free health and safety training and equipment, providing adequate plumbing and first-aid facilities, and reporting serious incidents. The Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 requires employers to carry insurance covering all costs resulting from work-related injuries. The Compensation Act 2006, furthermore, makes it the duty of parent companies to ensure the health and safety of their subsidiary companies’ employees.

Other Statutes

The National Minimum Wage Act 1998 sets the method of determining the minimum wage scale. Workers do not need to meet any requirement to benefit from it except to be working for a wage. The Working Time Regulations 1998 set the maximum number of hours that workers may work weekly at 48 unless they freely agree to work more, sets the minimum amount of paid holidays at 28 annually, and requires a minimum rest period of 20 minutes for any shift of six hours or more. The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 prevents an enterprise’s new owners from worsening its employees’ terms without showing a good technical, economic, or organisational reason. The Pensions Act 2004 governs pension schemes and gives workers the right to decide together with their employers how to manage their pension funds. The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidated) Act 1992 sets the rules governing union constitutions, members’ rights, collective agreements, and strikes.

Author Bio: Blogger who talks about Employment Law for Got The Boot

Previous post:

Next post: