As an employer you should know the rights of your staff – and they may not all be employees.

These apply not only to your full and part time staff, but also to those who are self employed, temporary, agency or fixed term workers. They will all have certain rights, whether statutory, or part of their contract. Even a Company Director may be an employee for the purposes of employment rights. We can advise you on suitable terms for a Director’s Service Contract.

Terms and Conditions

You are obliged to give your employees a statement of their terms and conditions. We can assist you in preparing this and consider other issues the law requires to be taken into account, such as:

  • Holiday Entitlement
  • Data Protection Act
  • Health and Safety
  • IT/Email Policy
  • Grievance Procedure
  • Disciplinary Procedure
  • Appeals Procedure
  • Age Discrimination

National Minimum Wage

The following information relates to the standard rates of National Minimum Wage for Employees in the standard age ranges (per hour) from 6th April 2017:

Workers over 21 — 24     £7.05

Workers aged 18 — 20     £5.60

Workers aged 16 — 17     £4.05

Apprentices                       £3.50

National Living Wage

For all workers aged 25 and above   £7.20 per hour from 6th April 2017.

Working Time regulations

If you expect staff to work long hours, you have to consider the legal restrictions. An average of 48 hours per week is the limit a worker may be required to work. Although they may choose to work more if they want to. An average of 8 hours in every 24 is the limit that night-workers may be required to work.

Workers are also entitled to:

  • A right to free health assessments for nightworkers;
  • A right to 11 hours rest a day;
  • A right to a day off each week;
  • A right to an in-work break if the working day is longer than 6 hours;
  • A right to 5.6 weeks paid leave per year.

Dismissal procedures

The ACAS Code of Practice provides guidelines relating to disciplinary and grievance procedures. A failure to follow the ACAS Code of Practice will not be determinate of the fairness of the dismissal.

However, if a finding of unfair dismissal is made, the damages awarded to the employee could be increased by up to 25% if the ACAS Code of Practice has not been followed.

For more information procedures and tribunals, please click here.

Employment Tribunal Awards

Maximum compensatory award is £80,541.

Flexible working

If you are receiving requests from employees for flexible working and you feel unable to grant the request due to the needs of the business, a refusal must fall within one or more of the following grounds:

  • Burden of additional costs;
  • Detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demands;
  • Inability to re-organise work among existing staff;
  • Inability to recruit additional staff;
  • Detrimental impact on quality;
  • Detrimental impact on performance;
  • Insufficiency of work during periods the employee proposes to work;
  • Planned structural changes

You are required to write to the employee stating the grounds for your refusal and the particular circumstances in which they apply. The employee has the right to make a complaint to the Tribunal if procedures have not been correctly followed, or if refusal has been based upon incorrect facts.

Shared parental leave and pay provisions in force from 1 December 2014

Many of the regulations made under the Children and Families Act 2014 that implement the new shared parental leave and pay scheme will come into force from 1 December 2014. However, they will only apply where the expected week of childbirth begins on or after 5 April 2015, or where the child is placed for adoption on or after 5 April 2015.

The right to shared parental leave (SPL) and statutory shared parental pay (ShPP) enables eligible employees who are parents (whether by birth or adoption) to take paid and/or unpaid leave within the first year of their child’s life or the first year after their child’s placement for adoption, provided that the eligible mother or adopter has volunteered to end their maternity leave and/or pay or adoption leave and/or pay early (or has already returned to work early). Instead, they can then opt into the SPL regime, enabling the balance of their untaken leave and pay to be shared between them and the other eligible parent or adopter or their partner – up to a maximum of 50 weeks of SPL and 37 weeks of ShPP.

SPL is entirely optional and parents or adopters are not obliged to take it. The default position is that the mother or adopter will continue to be entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave or adoption leave (and 39 weeks of statutory maternity pay, maternity allowance or statutory adoption pay, if eligible).

SPL will also be available to intended parents through surrogacy arrangements where they qualify for adoption leave and/or pay.

Agency Workers regulations

From 1st October 2011, new entitlements for agency workers were introduced. These include:

  • Access to all facilities (eg canteen etc)
  • Access to information on internal job vacancies
  • After 12 weeks, equal treatment for pay, holidays and annual leave.
  • Paid leave for ante natal appointments

Agency Workers

Hirers will also have a responsibility to ensure their workers are receiving their new entitlements. Failure to do so may result in legal action being taken against them.

Please click here for further information on:

  • Compensation Limits
  • Parental Entitlements
  • Annual Leave  Entitlements
  • Sickness Payments
  • Income tax Rates
  • Income tax Reliefs
  • National insurance

To arrange an appointment please contact us on 01689 822554 or FREEPHONE 0800 358 2757, or email us at employment@thomasdunton.co.uk.

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