Employment pitfalls for Small and Medium sized businesses

2014-05-15 Jennifer Renney-Butland posted:

The Forum of Private Business has recently warned businesses of the risks of not paying suitable attention to employment law issues. Very often the problems that small and medium sized businesses face now are the same problems they’ve always faced, such as how to deal with people who are not performing, how to deal with the long term sick, and the correct way of going about making staff redundant. New developments can catch small and medium sized businesses unaware from time to time but the same old problems crop up again and again.

One key new issue is flexibility of work. Flexible working rights started off informally with women returning from maternity leave requesting to work a different pattern than before. There are also various family leave rights in the form of maternity, adoption, parental, and paternity leave. Another area which is fairly complicated for small and medium sized businesses is a person’s ability to use their partner’s unused maternity leave or adoption leave rights. If an employee asks to work flexibly businesses cannot simply refuse - proper consideration must be given to the request and one of the permissible reasons given for rejecting the request. Employers may try to accommodation a request but ultimately if the answer is no, both employer and employee must understand why the answer is no. So it’s important that procedures are followed.

When it comes to Employment Tribunal claims, the government has made things a little bit easier for small and medium sized businesses. The introduction of tribunal fees for bringing claims means tribunal claims have gone down substantially. There has also been an increase in the length of service needed to bring an unfair dismissal claim from one up to two years’ service, and the government has put a cap on unfair dismissal compensation.

Renney and Co Solicitors can help small and medium sized businesses with any employment law related query. If you would like advice on an employment law issue, contact us today for a no obligation discussion on 01225 632240 or at info@renneyandco.com.

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