Legal life-cycle of an employee

There are certain obligations and rules that an employer must be aware of at various times during an employee's working life.

Here are the key considerations:

New starter

1. Do not dismiss for automatic unfair reasons such as maternity, health and safety, or asserting a statutory right such as the right to written terms and conditions. There are many statutory rights and these are increasing with new legislation – seek advice

2. Do not discriminate on racial grounds

3. Do not discriminate on grounds of sex or against married people

4. Pay equal pay to men and women

5. Do not discriminate because of trade union membership

6. Do not treat part-time employees less favourably

7. Pay statutory sick pay (SSP) when required

8. Give maternity leave when required

9. Make sure you pay the national minimum wage

10. Provide access to a stakeholder pension scheme (unless exempt)

11. Do not discriminate against disabled people

12. Do not discriminate on basis of sexual orientation, religious or similar belief

13. Give an itemized statement with pay

14. Give paid time off for ante-natal care

15. Consult recognized trade union about redundancy

16. Do not dismiss unfairly because of pregnancy

17. Give written reason if dismissing because of pregnancy

18. Do not insist an employee works more than 48 hours a week and give 20 minutes rest break after six hours of work

19. Give four weeks paid holiday

After One month

20. Give the minimum notice periods required by law
or more

21. Pay guaranteed pay if you have no work

Within two months
22. Give a written statement of the main terms and conditions

After Six months

23. Give paternity leave and adoption leave if requested
or more by new parents

24. Pay Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) and Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) to employees who qualify

25. Seriously consider requests by parents for flexible working

After One year or More

26. Give written reasons for dismissal (other than pregnancy), if requested

27. Do not dismiss unfairly

28. Give paid time off work to look for work in redundancy

29. Give job to employee back from maternity leave, unless original/alternative unavailable

After Two years or more

30. You become obligated to pay redundancy if the employee is laid off

See also: Hiring your first employee as a small business

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