It’s no surprise that employment relationships are a major feature of our lives. Many of us spend more time at work than we do in our own house. Our employment agreements and the relationships we have with our colleagues and bosses have a profound effect on our efficiency at work. It can make or break morale and can assist in the retention of key members and/or management of poor performers.
While Wakefields can’t advise you on the trendiest new HR practices, we certainly have helped you make sure you understand your legal rights and obligations when it comes to employment. Here’s a breakdown of the basics that everyone should know.
All employees have minimum rights under the law, whether or not these are included in an agreement.
The well-known rights of these include but are not limited to:
Some of the lesser known rights include (but again, are not limited to):
However, employment agreements can and should do much more than just the minimum. A well thought out agreement can provide reward and recognition for valued members, protection for the employer from misuse of business assets, and give both employers and employees clarification on the steps involved when repeated poor performance or serious misconduct occurs. At Wakefields Lawyers, we have a wealth of experience in drafting employment agreements to cover the ‘what ifs’ and in tailoring those agreements to meet specific business’ needs.
Each business will have a certain way of doing things. It can be helpful to record these in writing as workplace policies to set clear and consistent standards and prevent misunderstandings. Some written workplace policies can include guidelines relating to:
It can be empowering for staff to be involved in drafting these policies, but note that policies should not be inconsistent with the business’ employment agreement/s. It goes without saying that any new or updated written policies should be notified to all staff, and should be easy to access and understand.
The fundamental principle of the relationship is that employers and employees must deal with each other in good faith. At one time or another, almost all businesses have needed to restructure their affairs to make themselves more efficient or to follow new commercial avenues. When doing this, employers must show a good reason for any action against an employee and must follow a fair process. The courts have recognised the need for businesses to adapt but will vigorously review the process a business followed.
At Wakefields Lawyers we would encourage any business considering changes which will impact their employees to get in touch with us and discuss the process they intend to use. If you feel some relationships at work are worth being brought up, contact Wakefields Lawyers on 04 970 3600 or firstname.lastname@example.org, we’re here to help!