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An Entrepreneur’s Guide to UK Employment Law

There are so many factors to consider when starting your own company that it can be only too easy to overlook something. From registering your company through government services to coming up with a name and logo, the tasks are as varied as they are numerous, requiring time, effort, and often specialist skill.

One of the most vital things to take into account when setting up a company is the legalities of your operation. You don’t want to be penalised or, even worse, taken to court due to a failure to comply with the law. There are many different branches of law that affect companies, and these are quickly complicated by outside factors such as industry specific requirements and global expansion. Particularly those new to entrepreneurship may benefit from speaking to experts who can consult on business law to ensure that their company practices are in good legal order.

Obviously, employment law is one of the biggest legal considerations for any entrepreneur. It is essential to ensure that you have a healthy, protected workforce where diversity is not only welcomed but encouraged. Safeguard your company and your staff by making sure that your business is operating within these three key aspects of employment law in the UK.

Avoiding discrimination

First things first: when you are putting together your team, be conscious of avoiding all types of discrimination. Discrimination is the unjust treatment of different categories of people, whether positive or negative, and is usually grounded in ethnicity, race, or sex. People with health conditions or impairments are also often subjected to prejudicial treatment, especially during the hiring process. Combat discrimination by promoting equality within your company, and make sure that your HR team have a completely fair process when it comes to recruitment.

Employee rights

Once you have your team, you will need to address their rights as employees. It is important that you and your workers are aware of their rights and that these are incorporated into employee contracts. These rights cover everything from terms and conditions of the job role and holiday allowance to maternity pay and health and safety, and all are of the utmost importance. You also have rights as an employer which should also be outlined in official company documentation.

Data protection

Lastly, while your employees are part of your company, you need to ensure that all of their personal information is stored securely. Online HR systems should be protected with passwords of an appropriate strength, and any paper documents must be locked away out of sight. It is also your duty to teach employees how to handle company and customer data appropriately, again keeping all important information private and confidential. Schedule regular training sessions on data protection, both internal data – for your management and HR teams – and external data for your staff.

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