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Why You Should Study UK Employment Law

Employment law regulates the relationship between employers and employees. It governs what employers can expect from employees, what employers can ask employees to do, and employees’ rights at work. For example, suppose you are an employer, a manager, or a new business owner. In that case, you must be fully informed on employment law to protect yourself and your business from lawsuits and protect your staff from being poorly treated. Keep reading to find out ‘Why you should study UK Employment Law.

Table of Contents

What Is the UK Employment Law?

UK employment laws are intended to make sure that both employer’s and employee’s rights are protected. These laws provide legislation on hiring, conduct, promotion, workplace grievances, dismissal, holidays, pay, discrimination, etc. These laws are in place to protect workers’ rights while safeguarding employer’s concerns and keeping the relationship fair.

what is the purpose of employment law uk

For instance, business organisations in the UK must pay the National Minimum Wage on the basis of their employee’s age. Moreover, all the employees over the age of 23 are also entitled to the National Living Wage set by the government.

Essentially, all employees are covered by the Equality Act 2010 from the moment they apply for a job. This law prohibits discrimination against candidates and employees based on a set of nine protected characteristics, such as gender, disability, race, religion. Later, when staff members join the team, they are protected by Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. This states that all employees have the right to a safe working environment.

Why does Employment Law Exist?

UK employment law exists to regulate the relationships and interactions between employers and their employees, including trade unions. These laws aim to ensure a fair process in all the organisations and for all areas of the business — from recruitment to dismissals.

Without proper employment laws, workers might suffer unfavourable and unfair treatment at the hands of their employer and have no way of reforming the situation. Therefore, employment laws for employees in the UK are needed.

Why You Should Study UK Employment Law

UK employment laws protect every individual in the working realm. Without it, there would be no apparent authority on the multifaceted and complex area of employment.

However, with UK employment law in place, we can ensure the following:

  • Manage the disciplinary process and discrimination in the workplace
  • Prevent bullying and harassment in the workplace
  • Ensure equal treatment in an atmosphere of an unequal balance of power
  • Promote good health and safety practices
  • Prevent unfair dismissal due to reasons such as requesting maternity or paternity leave, whistleblowing, being part of a trade union, asserting legal rights etc.
  • Build a minimum standard of entitlements and pay
  • Identify the key data protection principles and why it is important in the workplace
  • Understand parental rights, sick pay, and pension schemes

Employment right

Therefore, we should study to protect both employee and employer rights. Whether you are an employer, employee, an HR personnel, or an employment lawyer, you should study UK employment law.

UK Employment Law Courses

You can study UK Employment Law at a very affordable price from One education. Here are a few well-structured courses that you may find helpful.

You will also gain a CPD accredited certificate at the end of the course. During the course, you will learn the role of an employment lawyer and the rights of both employees and employers. Additionally, the courses cover the different types of employment contracts, the legal recruitment process, and the employee handbook in detail. Check out the courses for more detail.

What are the Main Employment Laws in the UK?

Here is a list of crucial employment legislation in the UK so that you can keep on top of them. These are a core set of acts that embody the main parts of employment law. You should regularly remind yourself of these laws and your responsibilities as an employer, so you are far less likely to break them inadvertently. (Also, you will find all the following acts in GOV.UK and in legislation.gov.uk).

Employment Laws in the UK

Employment Rights Act 1996 

Employment Rights Act 1996  is an update to older Labour Law, this act covers the rights of employees in situations such as dismissal, unfair dismissal, paternity leave, maternity leave, and redundancy.

National Minimum Wage Act 1998

This act sets out the National Minimum Wage for employees and employers across the UK. The government regularly reviews this to keep it in line with inflation.

Employment Relations Act 1999

Employment Relations Act 1999 establishes several rights at work for trade union recognition, de-recognition, and industrial actions.

The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 prevents discrimination in the workplace and the recruitment process. It identifies protected characteristics that cannot be used as a reason for any workplace decisions—unless it is to make suitable arrangements to accommodate them in the workplace.

Health and Safety legislation

While not exactly employment law, health and safety legislation also impacts employer and employee relationships. You need to comprehend your responsibilities towards health and safety in the workplace when traversing employee issues. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 is the main piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety measures in the UK. It is otherwise known as HSWA, the HSW Act, the 1974 Act, or HASAWA.

These acts place a duty on employers to protect the health, safety, and welfare of employees while at work. This applies to all of those on the business property, from workers and temps to clients and the general public. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) was set up under HASAWA. They enforce these duties and penalise non-compliance.

The Basic Employment Rights for a Worker in Health and Safety

The legislation outlines that all employees or workers have three fundamental rights when it comes to health and safety in the workplace.

1. The Right to Know

Employers must ensure they make their employees or workers aware of the hazards presented by people, equipment, the environment, or processes. And they must receive training and information about hazardous aspects of the workplace.

2. The Right to Participate

Employees can be involved in identifying, assessing, and controlling health and safety hazards.

3. The Right to Refuse Unsafe Work

It allows employees to refuse work they believe is likely to endanger themselves or others. In addition, the act protects workers from retaliation should they refuse. While not strictly employment law, this shows that these rights and acts can influence employee and employer relationships. For example, dismissal for refusal to work in an unsafe environment would be unlawful under the health and safety act rather than employment law.

Other Important Employment Legislations

There are also other pieces of UK legislation that, although not solely related to employment law, contain key employment law information. These are:

importance of employment legislation

The Maternity and Parental Leave etc. Regulations 1999

Statutory legislation that governs the rights of employees to have time off work for parents with new babies.

Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000

A UK labour law measure that requires that employers give people on part-time contracts comparable treatment to people on full-time contracts who do the same jobs.

Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006

Protection of existing employees’ rights and any employment contracts or promises when a company goes through a business transfer.

Bribery Act 2010

Covers the criminal law relating to any act of bribery. It’s a serious issue in any working environment and requires vigilance to avoid.

Data Protection Act 2018

Data Protection Act 2018 is a national law complementing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 1998. It regulates how your business stores employee and customer information, and it is crucial that the relevant parties are trained in it.

Working Time Regulations 1998

This contains important rules you should follow, particularly the working hours and holidays that staff are entitled to.

Agency Workers Regulations 2010

Statutory legislation that prevents discrimination against people who work for employment agencies. Treat them equally in pay and working time when compared to full-time counterparts who do the same work.

UK Employment Law Fundamentals
This course about immigration requirements, contractual terms, the rights during employment, and the process of termination of employment.
UK Employment Law Fundamentals
This course about immigration requirements, contractual terms, the rights during employment, and the process of termination of employment.

Conclusion

Now you know why you should study UK employment law. Knowledge about UK employment law is essential to ensure that employees are treated fairly, and they are getting appropriate wages for their hard work. On the other hand, it also ensures that employers are protected. In addition, it ensures that they are doing their best for the people working for them. To learn more about UK employment law, check out this course on UK Employment Law Fundamentals.

January 27, 2022

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