What Is Employment law?

Employment law is the field of law that regulates relationships between employers and the people who work for them.

Some issues that come under employment law include employment contracts, health and safety regulations, maternity and parental leave, grievance and discipline procedures, discrimination, dismissal and redundancy procedures, as well as some matters relating to recruitment procedures. Employment law is also about ensuring that employees are protected in the workplace, and have access to all of their legal employment rights.

Employee Rights & Employer Responsibilities

The rights of employees in the workplace include:

As such, it’s the responsibility of employers to ensure that their employees have access to all of the rights they are entitled to by law.

Employees also have certain obligations to meet. For example, employees assume some responsibility for maintaining a healthy and safe workplace. This means that they must follow safety procedures or use protective equipment if it’s specified by their employer, and follow their employer’s reporting procedures in the event of an accident.

Issues & Processes Involved In Employment Law

Employment law involves a wide range of issues, and an equally wide range of processes are used to regulate employment law procedures and resolve related disputes.

Some of the common procedures involved in employment law include disciplinary and grievance procedures. Disciplinary procedures are those initiated by an employer (or an employee’s superior), while grievance procedures are those initiated by an employee who has a complaint about another employee or their employer.

Disciplinary Procedures

Disciplinary procedures are those initiated by an employer when they have a problem with an employee’s work, attendance, or workplace behaviour.

In order to ensure that employees are treated fairly and not wrongfully dismissed when problems arise, employment law dictates a code of practice that must be followed. This code of practice is developed by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS). If the code of practice isn’t followed correctly, an employee may have grounds to appeal to an employment tribunal if they are unfairly disciplined or dismissed.

Grievance Procedures

The same code of practice also outlines procedures that must be followed when an employee has a grievance they want to have addressed. If an employee raises an issue informally and they feel that it’s not dealt with to their satisfaction, they can raise a grievance, or formal complaint. Once a grievance has been raised, an employer must deal with it in accordance with methods outlined by the ACAS code of practice.

How Can A Solicitor Help?

For both employers and employees, a solicitor or law firm can offer assistance and advice in a number of different ways. However, while employees tend to take legal advice only when they are involved in a workplace dispute, for employers, there’s often a need to use the services of a solicitor on a more regular basis.

For Solicitors...