Does Employment Law Apply To Small Businesses?

Are you a small business owner in the UK? Do you have employees working for you? If so, then you need to be aware of employment law and how it applies to small businesses.

In the UK, employment law is governed by a number of different pieces of legislation, including the Employment Rights Act 1996, the Equality Act 2010, and the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

As a small business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are compliant with all aspects of employment law. Failure to do so could result in costly penalties or even prosecution.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the key areas of employment law that apply to small businesses in the UK.

 

1. Minimum wage

The national minimum wage is the minimum hourly rate that most workers in the UK are entitled to be paid.

As a small business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that all employees are paid at least the national minimum wage. If you are found to be paying workers less than the minimum wage, you could face a fine of up to £20,000.

 

2. Employee contracts

All employees in the UK are entitled to a written contract of employment from their employer. This contract must set out the main terms and conditions of employment, including things like hours of work, pay, holidays, and sick pay.

As a small business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that all employees have a written contract of employment. Failure to do so could result in an employment tribunal claim.

 

3. Health and safety

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 sets out the statutory framework for health and safety in the workplace. The Act requires employers to take reasonable steps to ensure the health and safety of their employees.

As a small business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your workplace is safe and compliant with the relevant health and safety legislation. Failure to do so could result in a fine or even imprisonment.

 

4. Equality and diversity

The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination on the grounds of protected characteristics, such as age, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

As a small business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that all employees are treated equally and fairly. Discrimination of any kind is unlawful and could result in an employment tribunal claim.

 

5. Data protection

The Data Protection Act 1998 sets out the legal framework for the protection of personal data. The Act requires employers to process employees’ personal data in a fair, transparent, and lawful way.

As a small business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that you comply with the Data Protection Act. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to £500,000.

 

 

In conclusion

As a small business owner in the UK, it is important that you are aware of employment law and how it applies to your business. Failure to comply with the law could result in costly penalties.

If you have any questions about employment law, please get in touch with us at Harwood HR. We offer a bespoke small business employment contract service, where we can can assist you, saving you any legal pitfalls.

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