UK Employment Law – The Risks You Face As An Employer

I found this article relating to Employment Law which I thought may be of interest. So here it is for you

If you run a business then it is more than likely that you are well aware of many of the pitfalls and possible legal problems you could run into during the course of everyday work. Simply by reading the papers you can discover a whole world of potential legal hazards that as an employer you need to guard against.

Health and safety regulations, for instance, are numerous to the point where it would take hours upon hours of reading through them to simply be able to say that you have kept up to date with all the changes that have taken place over the past year. And then, of course, there is the problem of making sure you understand all of them.

A particularly good example that highlights how employment law is regularly updated and changed would be to show just how many new employment laws are introduced each year from the UK and Europe as it is rather high. The average number from the past few years works out at around 125 new employment laws.

Furthermore, there have been more new employment laws passed in the past four years than there were in the twenty years that passed before it. This goes to show just how rapidly the world of employment law is moving at the moment.

So what is the answer to this for small and large businesses alike? Well, the most sensible solution is to seek professional advice from reputable employment advisors, especially when the current economic climate is taken into consideration, which gives small businesses particularly much less time to spend poring over the latest employment laws.

It is not simply a case of the volume of employment laws being passed either. There is, as one would expect when you consider that these are legal requirements, a degree of complexity attached to employment law that only professionals can easily and quickly distil from legal jargon into simple rules to abide by in the workplace.

In addition to the complexity of employment law, there are also increasing numbers of employees taking their employers to court. Over 100,000 employees took their employers to court last year alone.

There is, of course, the crucial element of money to consider as well. Tribunal cases have been rising by around 15% per year, for example. Additionally, over one third of all employment disputes involve dismissal cases and the compensation award limit is currently more than £60,000, which is no small amount.

Discrimination cases, however, can be much more costly to a business from a monetary point of view. Awards for successful discrimination claims (which can involve sex, race, age, disability, sexual orientation or religious intolerance legislation) are unlimited. Examples clearly show this area of employment law in particular as hugely important for businesses to be aware of. Recently, religious discrimination cases have seen a 340% rise, and the average award for a race discrimination case is £19,114. In one specific sex discrimination case a total of £179,026 was awarded to the claimant.

Clearly, the cost of being unaware or ignorant of employment law is huge. One of the most shocking statistics is that 98% of employers who win their case are unable to recover legal fees. In the current economic climate, it can seen that, ultimately, just one case could cost a small business more than a few thousand pounds; it could cause the collapse of the business. With this in mind, it is surely best to seek professional legal advice in order to guard against the possibility of it happening to you.

This article is free to republish provided the authors resource box below remains intact.

John Mehtam has many years experience in Employment Law and specialises in Employment Law Training from Shropshire based Alpha HR.
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