Employment Law tips for the New Year

Whether or not 2015 has been a positive year for your business the New Year is the perfect excuse to get those houses in order and make some positive moves in your business.

As the popular saying goes ‘start as you mean to go on’. With this phrase in mind I have compiled 8 Employment Law tips which you may wish to implement in your workplace.

  1. Renew and review your paperwork. There is a legal requirement to provide written particulars of employment to employees within 8 weeks of employment. If you have new staff or even old staff that do not have a contract as yet now is the perfect time rectify this
  2. There is no legal requirement for an employer to ensure that an employment contract is signed but I would always recommend it because it can save you from having to prove that you issued a contract should there be a dispute in the future. So whilst you are issuing contracts to new staff members you might want to use this opportunity to check whether current staff have signed their contract.
  3. Whilst we are on the topic of employment contracts the New Year is the opportune time to assess whether your employment contracts are still compliant with Employment Law and whether they still suit the needs of your business. The same applies to any handbooks or policies that your business has.
  4. A few of the things to consider following the changes which occurred in 2015 are the Modern Slavery Act, Gender pay reporting, ACAS guidance on dealing with transgender employees and exclusivity in zero hour contracts.
  5. Each business has a different holiday year, for some it is April to March and for others in might be January to December. Either way it is useful for employers and employees to know how much holiday entitlement they have left and whilst you are reviewing your policies and procedures you may wish to make sure all holiday is paid up to date and that your employees are aware of any holiday entitlement they have remaining.
  6. This year is going to be another big year for pensions with auto enrolment. If you have already looked into this then well done! but if you haven’t, why not use the beginning of the year to get some advice about pensions.
  7. You would have heard about the National Living Wage by now as it was a hot topic in 2015. From April 2016 all employees over the age of 25 will have to be paid a minimum of £7.20 per hour. For some businesses this is not a problem as they already pay this sum but for others they will need to plan about where this extra money will come from. It is a good idea to do this in January and February if your business falls into the latter category.
  8. My final New Year tip is to start the year with positivity, many of your employees will have had rest over the Christmas period so now is the perfect time to motivate them into being more productive. You may wish to have a team meeting setting out the 2016 goals and personally thank them for all the work done in 2015. A little thank you can go a long way.

Wishing you a prosperous Year from Orchard Employment Law. If you need assistance with any Employment Law matters please contact me on 01634 564136 or info@orchardemploymentlaw.co.uk

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