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Employment Regulations

Updated 25/11/13

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This page

This page has been split off from the main Employing staff page, which covers Terms and Conditions (including work/life balance), trade unions.

NOTE: Tthis now needs fairly major revision to reflect changes over the last few years. However, most items below are still relevant.

Elsewhere



Useful web sites

More indepth/for the professional

Specifics

We don't claim or seek to cover everything here. Just the issues most likely to impact on voluntary sector organisations. See Useful web sites (above) for more.

Employers Liability Insurance is a requirement - check out Insurers if you haven't got this covered, and remember to check whether it covers volunteers working for you. We understand that in addition to having to display a valid certificate proving your cover, the organisation must now keep this for 40 years!

Work Permits are administered by part of Home Office's Border Agency. Work permit arrangements allow employers based in Great Britain to employ people who are not nationals of a European Economic Area country and are not otherwise entitled to work in this country. See Gov.Uk section 'Check if someone can work in the UK'.

National Minimum Wage regulations are enforced by HM Revenue & Customs. Rates are revised from time to time. If you pay more than reimbursement of expenses to volunteers, watch out! There are also implications on record keeping, especially if you pay less than £12,000 per year (£1,000 per month). The NMW information line is on 0845 8450 360.

Unfair dismissal considerations apply after one year. This means that if you have had someone on temporary contracts for more than a year, you might have a problem if that employment comes to an end (for whatever reason) unless you know your employment law.

Criminal Records We give the basics of this under Volunteers and the law. This mainly impacts on care and children organisations. Check Disclosure and Barring Service (was Criminal Records Bureau, alternative link on Gov.uk)

Unions, industrial action

Union recognition and ballots. Part of Employment Relations Act 1999 provisions, in force from June 2000.

BIS has published a guide for employees / trade union members who are considering taking industrial action, in pdf format 'Industrial Action and the Law'.

Gov.uk Trade Unions and workers rights section.

Leave, working hours, work-life balance

Parental Leave - Maternity and Paternity leave. Improvements in entitlements from April 03. There are also rights for time off for emergencies involving dependants (but no obligation for this to be paid).

Working Time Regulations came into force October 1998. 48 hours averaged over 17 weeks is the maximum unless the employee has agreed in writing, or there is a union agreement. There are various other rights and some types of workers with other get outs.

Gov.uk on leave and time off (England, Wales and NI).

Discrimination

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is the official anti-discrimination body.

Disability Discrimination Act See the disability related sites on People Resources page, or try Business Link site. Employers with 15 or more employees may not discriminate against current or prospective employees with disabilities. Small employer exemption ended Oct 04.

Religious and sexual orientation discrimination regulations from December 2003. See ACAS guidance.

Race discrimination Under amendments brought in July 03, an exemption from the 1976 Race Relations Act that had allowed charities serving particular racial groups to recruit staff from a particular racial group has been partially repealed. 'Genuine occupational requirements' can still be used when recruiting staff, where the nature of the employment requires someone of a particular race, ethnic or national origin.