Employment law baffles bosses - Palmers Solicitors

Employment law baffles bosses

Smaller employers say that employment law is confusing and complicates business life, according to a new survey.

The website www.startups.co.uk reported on 18 August that three-quarters of the small businesses questioned said making sure they stayed up to date with regularly changing employment legislation took up a significant amount of their time.

Only a quarter (25 per cent) thought current employment rules were acceptable and more than a third (39 per cent) said that they would hire more staff if employment law was simpler.

The research, carried out by Citrus HR, also found that almost a third (30 per cent) of respondents did not know the level of the national minimum wage (NMW), putting them at risk of substantial financial penalties for not paying the NMW as well as being “named and shamed”.

Areas of employment law that employers said they would like to see changed included not being able to pay workers for unused annual leave (37 per cent), the scrapping of the compulsory retirement age (29 per cent) and people on holiday being able to claim sick leave (21 per cent).

Lara Murray, who specialises in Employment Law  at Palmers, said: “Smaller businesses can struggle with employment law issues because they feel they don’t have the resources for ongoing HR support. The danger is that if employers lack up-to-date and accurate knowledge, they could risk making an employment issue worse or even exposing themselves to an employment tribunal claim, with the potential for extra expense and reputational damage.

“As well as our employment law expertise, we offer a range of HR services, giving businesses the freedom to choose exactly the support they need and allowing them to work within their budget limits. We offer services on an affordable fixed fee basis and can also quote for an annual fee.

“Our services include audits of employment policies and procedures, an HR helpline, bespoke staff handbooks and document packages. We can also create a bespoke HR website, giving workers easy access to their firm’s employment information, which we update with changes to employment legislation or other relevant information, such as changes in the minimum wage.  For more information, please contact us.”