Employees are an inseparable part of all businesses. Organizations practically run on their dedication, skills and hard work. In other words they are a valuable asset for their company. So quite naturally this enables them to lay a few claims over their employer.
Employers are liable to the employees to ensure them their rights. As a result the employers are bound to carry out the responsibility throughout the employment. These legal obligations ensure sustainability of a company while operating a business.
The employers are responsible for carrying out some legal obligations towards their employees. The rules have been formulated to mediate the relationship between the employer and the employee. The Employment laws were put in place to protect workers from wrongdoing by their employers. This includes the following:
Ensure the employee a proper written contract
It’s every employee’s right to get an official contract. That forms the legal basis of the employee-employer relationship. Generally it consists of the job roles, work hours and the wage agreed upon among both parties.
Maintain equality at the workplace
It’s a legal duty of the employer to prevent and eliminate all types of discrimination in the work environment. All workers are to be treated equally.
Secure health and safety
The employer must keep track of all the risks a worker might face in his day-to-day activities. This includes health risks that may arise from the workplace.
Employer contract wages, work hour and benefits
This is the first thing that comes in contention. When you are being employed the written contract lays the foundation of the employment. Your employment status determines the facilities are you entitled to. By employment status it means whether you work part-time, full time or on freelance basis.
Written contracts are recommended as it will be easier to resolve any dispute that can arise later on. The verbal agreement between the employer and employee is laid out in the form of a contract. The written statement contains the terms and conditions of employment. The terms and conditions mainly contain:
- The employee’s pay, work hours and the expiry date of the contracts
- The employee roles and responsibilities within the organization
- An employee handbook which is not necessarily included in the contract is also a part of the employment. It is a document that includes the holidays, leave policy and solution to certain problems when an employee may encounter.
An employment contract may also include a probation period. Within this time employee can enjoy only limited rights from his employment. But this probation period may not extend more than 2-3 months. After finishing the probation the employee enjoys full rights from his Employer.
Maintain equality in the workforce
Employers are required to maintain a discrimination-free workplace. The Equality Act 2010 protects individuals from unfair treatment. In other words, this statute promotes the equality of all workers. This includes preventing bias based on gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or any other criteria. It is the employer’s responsibility to protect employees from such harassment.
Organizations have adapted to some general practices to combat discrimination among their workers. These are:
- Pay attention to all the protected characteristics that might course bias such as age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage, pregnancy, race, religion, gender and sexual orientation. Acknowledging these differences can prevent unintentional situations.
- The employers adapt to equality policies regarding recruitment, training, promotion, allocating work, pay and so on. Everyone is treated fairly based on their merit.
- Introduce diversity and inclusion courses among the employees. Promote such values in workplace. Make the workforce feel like a family. So that nobody feels vulnerable in his workplace.
Promoting such values will further increase the productivity of the workplace. It will further increase organizational values.
Health and safety law
Maintaining a risk free work place for the workers is one of the top priorities for all employers. Employers secure the workplace based on the type of organization they operate.
This can be done by providing necessary protection to their employees or by minimizing the probability of an occurrence. The steps employers need to follow to ensure a safe workplace are as follows:
The employer first hires a capable person for risk assessment. He prepares the report by identifying all the exposer to risk within the organization premises.
Prepare a safety policy
After assessing all the risk a policy is to be laid out by the company regarding the safety of the employees. The policy should clearly state how the company is going to approach all the risk exposures. The policy is aimed to marginalize the possibilities of all health hazards that can happen in the workplace.
Consult and train workers
One of the most important aspect of the health and safety program is to train the workers. With proper training regarding the probable hazard the chances of anything bad happening can be avoided.
Arrange the facilities and equipments:
The equipments needed(if any) to avoid certain mishaps should be provided to the workers during training and also at work. The employer is particularly responsible to provide employees all the safety equipment.
Provide appropriate signs where necessary:
The employer is responsible to put necessary caution sighs wherever necessary. This way employees can be cautions in a hazard prone zone.
Arrange first aid treatment:
Apart from all the necessary precautions the employers must always keep appropriate first aid treatment at their disposal. This is to ensure the total safety of the employee even after any occurrence.
The health and safety act 1974
The health and safety act 1974 is the piece of legal document that makes all the safety practices obligatory for all businesses. This legislation covers occupational safety for workers of all sectors. The general duties of the act are set towards the employers. The responsibility of the employers covers:
- The employer’s responsibility for the safety of customers and public
- Employer’s responsibility to ensure safety of the employees
- The responsibility of self-employed towards themselves and others
The health and safety act even covers the aspect of mental health of workers. A worker is not obliged to work more than 48 hours a week. The health and safety act is devised to provide workers with physical and mental well-being.
Besides the Health and Safety Act the legislation has updated the criteria of employment with several new laws. The employment law is very elaborate and applies to all kinds of employment in the UK. The legislature has prepared all these laws to protect the right of the workers. Knowing the employment is very important before you start a business of your own.