If you are the owner of a start-up or a company that needs to hire workers – the good news is that there are plenty of job candidates. However, when hiring workers, you need to know the rules that must be followed to operate under the law. Therefore, we will draw your attention to 4 things that business owners should know when it comes to employment law.
Although Many State Economies Are Stronger Than Ever – The Employment Law Is Still Being Violated
Even though we live in the 21st century, there are many countries where employees’ rights are systematically violated. In many of these countries, governments and large companies are making an active effort to break the collective voice of workers. How do they do it? By endangering some of their fundamental rights. This was also the assessment of experts from the International Trade Union Confederation. Many experts point out the fact that employees’ rights still haven’t reached a satisfactory level. They also claim it is mostly because the Employees Law is not being followed in the way it should be. Sometimes it is a consequence of restrictive and poor labor laws – and sometimes, it is an unintentional oversight of employers. Developed countries with stable economies, such as the US or Canada, have a well-developed employment law. However, the problem sometimes arises when employers overlook certain legal norms. We can debate about whether they do it accidentally or deliberately. Still, we will draw your attention to some of the things that all business owners should know when it comes to employment law.
You Have A Start-Up And You Hire People – Here’s What You Need to Know
When you start a business or have your startup – it is clear that you need people, because you can’t do everything by yourself. However, some smaller start-ups start with a small number of employees – only one to two employees. Then, you start to encounter some procedures that you have to follow – and the entire story becomes even more complicated as the company grows and you have more employees. The responsibility you carry on your back is even greater – and at the same time, you need to think about the relations between you as the employer and the employees. Just as such relations give you certain rights, they will also impose certain obligations on you. One of the main ones is that you abide by the employment law. Therefore, it would be worthwhile to get acquainted with this topic from the very beginning. However, if you missed something – here are some of the basic postulates of employment law that you must know and follow.
1. Get well acquainted with the conditions of employment
When it comes to employment, some standards are determined by the law and apply to most employees. One of them is the right to a statutory minimum wage. Certainly, the amount of the minimum wage can vary from state to state, province – and even municipality. However, each of these areas has a statutory minimum wage, or amount per working hour – as well as amounts set for work during public holidays and the like. There are, of course, the right to annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave – as well as the right to a salary or dismissal. You need to master all this well before you start hiring new employees.
2. Hiring new employees requires that you have a written employment contract
According to the obligation law, even if the employer doesn’t have a contract with the employee in a written form – it is still considered as having a contract. However, that “contract” does not have any further details, so in case of misunderstanding, it will be very difficult to prove what is the real situation. Therefore, it is still advisable to make such a contract in written form. This way, you will determine all the conditions of your mutual agreement – from work obligations, through the amount of salary, to insurance, or reasons for dismissal. According to Levitt LLP, if you don’t do it in writing, or if the contract is not written accurately – that can lead you to various disagreements, and lawsuits – which can cost you a lot later. Therefore, make sure you have a formal written contract with your employees.
3. Adhere to workplace safety standards
Certainly, the law has already provided norms for cases concerning general safety and security in a particular workplace. Of course, some recent norms include guaranteeing safety in the work environment – which means the absence of any kind of physical or mental violence, as well as sexual harassment. As far as the job itself, employers are obliged to provide adequate training and prevent all risks in working, for example, with machines. It also excludes work in extreme cold or heat, etc. What is important to note is the fact that employees have the right to refuse dangerous work – if they deem that the circumstances are such. The coronavirus pandemic has posed another challenge in this regard – so health security issues are also included in this package of laws.
4. Norms related to discrimination
We have already touched on this as a topic when we mentioned sexual harassment, which is a form of discrimination. What every employer must take into account is that discrimination must not be tolerated – but must be eradicated regardless of its nature. The most common forms of discrimination at work are discrimination based on ethnicity, skin color, sexual orientation, religion, gender, age, disability, etc. Unfortunately, it is very often the case that employers are the ones who commit some kind of discrimination, which often leads them to court, where they usually lose such processes, which are unpleasant and cost a lot.
The Bottom Line
We have pointed out to you just a small number of items related to employment law that every employer needs to know. Of course, it is worth mentioning the so-called “whistleblower” rights, rights to privacy – as well as personal liability exposure, etc. These are things you must master before you start hiring new employees.