Applicability of Section 1 Statement The government published its Good Work Plan back in December 2018 in response to Matthew Taylor’s review of employment practices. The Good Work Plan’s stated aims are to provide clarity, ensure fair and decent work
Employment legislation is constantly changing and your HR policies can easily get out of date.
Here I outline the key policies that have changed in the last few years.
Companies that want to employ people on zero hours contracts could face a hike in the minimum wage rate, the author of a review into modern working practices has proposed.
Protection has now come into force for Zero Hour Contract Workers and provides protection against dismissal if the principal reason is that they breached a contractual clause prohibiting them from working for another employer; there is no qualifying period is required to bring such an unfair dismissal claim; and, it is also unlawful to submit a zero hour worker (note: worker not employee) to detriments if they work for another employer in breach of a clause prohibiting them from doing so.
When your Employee Handbook carefully spells out your employment policies misunderstandings will occur less frequently and if an employee does get confused about your expectations then resolving that confusion will be straightforward. Carefully written employment policies supported by clear guidance notes for your management team will ensure decisions are made consistently across your business.
But if your Employee Handbook is gathering dust on a shelf or in a draw in your office then your business could be at risk!
Many of the businesses that join my services have no employment policies in place and whilst some have a list of what policies they would like to introduce others are fearful of the bureaucracy that written policies would introduce to their business. To work out what policies are essential for your business we need to look at the clauses within your contract of employment!
Read my Top Tips to the essential Employment Policies that every business should have, even if you only have one employee.
There is no legal obligation on an employer to give an employee a written contract of employment unless the employee is an apprentice (an apprenticeship is a distinct and protected status in law). There is however a legal obligation to give all employees a written statement within 2 months of the employee starting employment. This legal obligation arises when the employee has been employed for one month.
Read my Top Tips to what information should be included in your contracts of employment and written statements.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that an employer who sought to vary terms of employment by making an offer to ‘buy-out’ certain terms, did not unfairly dismiss employees who refused that offer when it dismissed and re-engaged them on terms which did not include the original buy-out offer.