1.1. The main aspects of employment covered by law include:
• Minimum wage
• Hours worked
• Health and safety
• Holiday entitlements
• Redundancy and dismissal
• Disciplinary procedures
• Sick pay
• Human rights
• National minimum wage: All workers over the compulsory school leaving age (16 years old) must be paid the National minimum wage. There are different rates of pay for workers dependant on age (aged 21 and over), (18-20) (16-17).
• Working time regulations: The Working time regulations 1998, implement the European working time directive in the UK and came into force on Oct1, 1998. The legislation imposes a statutory right to a maximum working week of 48 hours for many workers averaged out over 17 weeks. The regulations limit the hours of night workers and make certain health checks compulsory. Rest periods and breaks at work are also regulated. The regulations also gave all workers the right to a minimum amount of paid annual leave, which is currently 5.6 weeks-capped at 28 days a year.
• Discrimination: It is unlawful to discriminate against anyone at work because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, or membership (or non-membership) of a trade union.
• Health and Safety: The common law has established that an employer has a general duty to take reasonable care to avoid injury, disease or death occurring to their employees at work. In particular employers must:- • provide a safe place of work with safe means of access and egress • provide and maintain safe appliances and equipment and plant for doing the work • provide and maintain a safe system of work
• provide competent people to undertake the work.
If an employer fails in his common law duty the injured employee has a civil law right of action to sue his employer for compensation as long as he can show that there has been negligence. All employers of more than five people must prepare a written policy statement setting out their general health and safety policy. The employer must bring the statement and revisions of it to the attention of employees. There is a duty to ensure that there is adequate health and safety training when employees are recruited and repeated in the future when risks to them are increased by new responsibilities, new work or equipment, new techniques or new systems. All employees should be given information about health and safety as prescribed in the Act and posters should be put up in places of work. All accidents must be reported.
An employer must so far as is reasonably practicable avoid the need for employees to undertake any manual handling operations involving a risk of injury. An employer must provide equipment and facilities as are adequate for enabling first aid to be rendered to his employees if they are either injured or become ill at work.
• Holiday entitlement: In 2007/09 Holiday entitlement increased by 20%. Employees have a right to a minimum amount of paid annual leave, which at present is 5.6 weeks (capped at 28 days a year).
• Redundancy: A redundancy occurs only when an employee is dismissed and the reason for his dismissal is that his/her job is no longer available at the place where he/she works, or where the their employer no longer requires the same number of employees to do what they do. An employees job is redundant if the business that employs him closes down or closes down at the location where they work, or if they become surplus to the requirements of the business.
• Dismissal: Unless an employee is contracted to work for only a specific...