Becoming a small business owner is a long, gruelling process that requires a lot of research, self-education, and application of those lessons learned.
Unfortunately, those lessons quickly become obsolete as laws change, industry trends shift, and business is done in completely new ways.
As an anonymous entrepreneur once said, “Starting a business is a lot like jumping out of an airplane and assembling the parachute on the way down.”
In the UK, one of those things you have to learn on the fly is to keep up with employment law, as it changes frequently and can have huge impact on your business.
Here’s a look back at how UK law has changed or will change in the next few months and what that means for small businesses and startups like yours.
The National Minimum Wage Amendment Regulations 2016
- From 1 October 2016 to April 2017, there are new hourly rates for the national minimum wage including: £6.95.
- The development rate (workers aged between 18 and 20) is £5.55.
- The young workers rate (workers aged under 18 but above the compulsory school age who are not apprentices) is £4.00.
- The rate for apprentices is £3.40.
If you don’t pay employees at least the minimum wage, you can be fined or put completely out of business.
New Tax-Free Childcare Scheme
Rolling out early in 2017, this will have major implications for families that have children 12 and under and where both parents work and earn at least 16 hours at the national minimum wage. The government will pay up to 20% of yearly childcare costs, which means workers who could not afford to leave home now may be available to take on positions for your company.
Retail Worker Rights
Retail workers can object to working overtime on Sundays. Make sure your employees are aware of this if you work in the retail space.
Harsh Punishment For Using Illegal Workers
In certain industries it can be very tempting to employ foreign workers illegally, but doing so can risk your own business. Suspicion of this crime can have your business shut down for 48 hours. If it keeps happening , a court could lock your business down for up to a year.
Hiring workers illegally is just one of many hiring mistakes made by businesses. Get a quick read up of other common hiring mistakes here.
Final Words: Employment Law In The UK
The most important thing for you as a business owner or startup founder is to make sure you abide by any employment law in the UK. A good start is making sure you have clear guidelines and expectations for employees laid out that are legally binding.
Know where you stand regarding employment law and don’t risk an employment legal dispute in the future.
Book a free Startup Legal Session and make sure your business operates within the confines of employment law in the UK.