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Employment law updates for UK SMEs

Published 19 May 2023

In this guide, we’ll break down the latest legal updates, amendments‌ and noteworthy cases that impact your role as SME owners and HR professionals. By embracing these changes and learnings, you can foster a harmonious and compliant work environment that benefits both you and your employees. 

We’ve worked in partnership with The Plume Group to break down what you need to know. If you’re looking for further information, then do check sources such as GOV.UK to find more specific information in relation to your business. 

In this factsheet, we’ll be covering;

  • An update on protection for workers with menopause
  • The Worker Protection (amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023
  • How a “deadname” case shows the importance of maintaining accurate employee records
  • The ICO Guidance on lawfully monitoring workers
  • And, the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 amendment

What is employment law?

Employment law is the legislation which governs the relationships between employers and employees. Legislation is different in every country and sometimes varies from region to region within countries. 

Employment law generally covers (but is not limited to); 

  • Employment contracts
  • Employment types (full-time, part-time, contract, freelance, etc.)
  • Hiring and recruitment
  • Dismissal and termination of employment
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Workers’ rights
  • Discrimination in the workplace
  • Employee entitlements including annual leave, maternity leave and long service leave, amongst others

 

Why is it important for businesses to stay on top of employment law updates?

Employment law is always evolving. As society, and consequently the needs of employers and employees, change – so too must employment legislation. 

Sometimes these changes will come in the form of amendments or reforms to legislation. Sometimes important requirements will be changed to processes that affect businesses, sometimes statutory rates of pay or contributions will be amended, and sometimes new precedents will be set by cases seen in the court. 

This can have a range of impacts on businesses. For example, if statutory rates of pay have changed but you have not updated your payroll, you could be at risk of non-compliance. If you’re not up to date with the latest rules around leave entitlements, your employees may be justified in making a complaint. 

To make matters more complex, different employment law updates will affect different businesses in different ways. That’s why we always recommend not only keeping track of employment law updates, but seeking professional advice for your personal situation from a qualified employment lawyer. 

Looking for more information about payroll in the UK? Download our guide to the basics of payroll in United Kingdom now!

 

How often does employment law change?

In a word – constantly. Like the rest of the legal system, employment law is constantly evolving, being amended and being updated. 

A country’s law and policy-makers are always looking for ways to improve legislation and employment rules, in line with emerging needs or current events. As stated above, there are many legal changes happening at any one time, for any number of reasons. 

We created our Employment Law Updates Factsheets to alert you seasonally to changes both current and upcoming, so feel free to check back on this page each quarter to stay up to date. 

We know that it’s especially challenging as an SME leader, who doesn’t have the luxury of an in-house legal team or an expansive HR and administrative team to stay on top of these updates. We want to support you so that you can feel ahead of the curve when it comes to employment law, and future-proof your business in line with emerging legislation.

It’s all part of our commitment to making employment easier and more rewarding for everyone. 

 

Should your business get help from employment law experts?

100%. This Employment Law Updates Factsheet is general in nature and does not speak to your specific situation. The views expressed in this article are general information only, are provided in good faith to help employers and their employees and should not be relied on as professional advice.

There are a thousand variables regarding the application of business and employment law compliance. This can include the industry your business is in, the number of employees you have, the location of your business – and so much more. 

Our factsheets can provide a great point of reference for new or upcoming employment law updates. You might use these to kick-start discussions with your legal expert, or to seek further personalised advice on how these updates will impact your business. 

 

How can Employment Hero help you stay compliant with employment law?

Employment Hero’s advanced (but easy-to-use) HR and payroll platforms have been purpose built by employment experts for the needs of SMEs. 

Our features are here to help you stay compliant with employment laws. Just a few of the ways in which our best-in-class platform can help include;

  • A library of HR policies created by employment experts which you can easily customise, issue for acknowledgement by your team, and update
  • Certification management, with cloud-based storage of your team’s certifications and qualifications that are necessary for them to complete their role  
  • Digital employment contracts which are stored on the cloud and easily accessible from your employees’ mobile app
  • Time and attendance tools, helping you and your team keep track of their working hours 
  • Payroll reporting and contribution calculation; our payroll platform is IRAS compliant to help you complete payroll correctly
  • Automated pay runs and pay slips, to help you with payroll admin and reduce human error

 

Get the latest employment law updates

Ready to learn more about the latest updates to employment law? Download our free factsheet now by filling in the form on the right.

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