Bringing new employees into your business isn’t easy. The UK and Europe have very strict and comprehensive lists of employment laws that come into play as soon as you make a job offer.
Businesses often outsource services to receive support and advice with employment laws in order to ensure that they are compliant even as and when laws change.
Local HR companies, like Guardian Support, can support your business with up to date and relevant legal support necessary for hiring new employees, as well as making sure your current workforce is getting everything they are legally entitled to.
If your business is in breach of any employment laws, it can be detrimental to your business, costing you money, talent and tarnishing your businesses reputation. The average clearance time of a single claim at an employment tribunal is 30 weeks, and the average cost to a business £8,500.00.
Guardian Support, a national HR company, can help your business with our range of HR services, such as bespoke handbooks and contracts of employment, tailored to your business.
What is Employment Law to a HR Company?
HR companies look at HR law from a very broad perspective. It exists in many different forms and certainly affects your business directly or indirectly. It exists to regulate the relationship between businesses and their employees, and it ultimately aims to protect the rights of both employers and employees in a number of ways.
Employment law could refer to anything from your employees contract, through to laws preventing discrimination in the workplace.
Employment Law is mostly aimed at protecting employees in the workplace, highlighting the employee’s rights. Some basic examples of employment law and rights are the prevention of age discrimination, bullying or harassment, discrimination based on disability, race, sexuality or gender and basic workers rights such as minimum wage, working hours and holiday.
How is Employment Law Enforced by Businesses and HR Companies During Recruitment
Employment law is enforced by HR companies largely during the employment process. There are a number of different factors that need to be taken into account when assessing applications, interviewing and getting a new employee in.
Discrimination during the interview process is one of the main concerns for a HR company. With discrimination in the interview process being under the spotlight from media sources, it’s more important than ever to comply. Employees can take companies to a tribunal if they suggest foul play, where valuable time and money is lost.
This means that employers cannot discriminate when deciding to employ and during employment. Employees have a list of protected characteristics, where it is illegal to be discriminated against over them. These characteristics are a list of fundamental ones, including age, sex, disability, religion and sexual orientation.
Enforcing this is an exhaustive process that HR companies undertake as HR professionals are experienced in dealing with and complying with these issues. They understand how to draft up a non-discriminatory job advert and select a suitable range of candidates so you can focus on the skills of the candidates rather than anything else. When outsourcing this service, HR companies can help your business prepare effectively for interviews by preparing questions that avoid all discrimination as well as understanding how to conduct interviews fairly and effectively. They are impartial sources, where they can offer jobs objectively and will always record decisions and processes so things are accountable.
If your company has signed up to Level 2 of the Disability Confident scheme, the employers should ensure that equal opportunities to interview are present. Being a member of this gives your company greater validity for all those looking to apply for positions, so it is beneficial for your company to partake in this scheme. This scheme allows those with a disability who possess relevant skills or meet the minimum criteria for the job post to have a guaranteed interview. While the agreement is not legally binding, it will be hard to not be in breach of legal duties under the Equality Act. HR companies will ensure that all the hiring process is compliant with these agreements to avoid any disputes.
The final step is when contracts are signed. So much money and time could be saved for your company over disputes if there is a clear and precise contract. It may seem obvious but many companies trip up at this hurdle, many don’t even have a formal contract. HR Companies have access to great legal professionals for advice on how to draft up the best contract. This includes clear start and end dates and most importantly clear language to describe processes involved in termination. The highest sum awarded in a tribunal claim was £1,744,575.56 for unfair dismissal, so avoiding these claims is essential for the financial health of your business.
How HR Companies Ensure Continued Enforcement of Employment Law
HR companies don’t just stop at that, continued enforcement of contractual and employment laws are necessary. As mentioned above, tribunal claims can add up and these will mostly be from existing companies claiming their employer broke employment law during their term of employment.
Making sure that employment contracts stay up to date to ensure the company keeps up with any legal changes and the changing relationship employees have with the company, by preparing letters amending the contract. This includes promotions where job duties increase or having access to confidential materials change.
HR companies like Guardian Support help keep your business away from tribunals with continued support, whether that be from an in-house rep or through external communications. This is done through consultancy visits, where we ensure that your business is still undertaking best practice in HR. Continued training for members of your organisation to prevent any work disputes or in the case of disputes, mediation is provided. Mediations are a great cost effective way to prevent tribunals.
How HR Companies Can Help With Tribunals
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation where you’re facing a tribunal over employment law, HR companies can still help at this stage. Employers will be at more risk of facing tribunals now as there was a scrap of tribunal fees. Claimants see little deterrence in pursuing formal action against their employers. The process can be expensive due to the time allocated towards it, HR companies can help you with the process as your legal representative and guide you to the quickest form of resolution.
Settling is oftentimes the best option for your business. An HR company can help you to come to these settlements with experience in the process, giving you the best settlement deal. This allows you to stay out of court, protecting not only your money but your reputation. However, if settling isn’t an option.
HR companies can provide a team of professionals who are experienced in the process. Whatever the claim, Guardian Support can support businesses throughout the journey. If you need advice or support, please contact our friendly team at Guardian Support today on 0845 2626 260.