Business owners often feel quite hard done by when dealing with employment law. Many feel that in the current climate 'all this red tape' inhibits businesses and reduces their profitability. They feel that their key priorities have to be attracting new business and getting paid for work done – not worrying about 'paperwork'.
If you're one of these businesses – if you think that employment rights are something you can take care of later when you have more time and money to spare – then you're making yourself a sitting duck for any employees who are better informed about employment law than you are! Of course the majority of employees aren't there to 'play the game'. But if you recruit a player and you aren't on top of your employment-law rights and responsibilities, you are waiting for disaster to strike.
Think of it like leaving your house with all its windows open. In an ideal world you wouldn't be burgled whether your windows are open or closed. But the obvious reality is that you're asking for trouble if you don't close your windows. The same is true for employment law.
You've left your windows wide open if you don't:
- issue itemised pay statements to your staff
- have clear and simple contracts that deal with pay and bonuses
- understand how and when to give a formal warning or dismiss an employee
It is all very well complaining about employment law, but your rights as a boss flow from the employment contracts you issue. If you don't issue contracts, or if you don't word them properly, then you have a lot fewer rights than you need.
Annabel Kaye is Managing Director of Irenicon Ltd, a specialist employment law consultancy.
Tel: 08452 303050 Fax: 08452 303060
Website : www.irenicon.co.uk.
You can follow Annabel on twitter – http://twitter.com/AnnabelKaye