call us now 0203 669 2216

3 Areas Of Employment Law
Business Owners Need To Be Aware Of

Dear

If your business has employees, then you need to understand employment law. That’s really as simple as it gets. As a business owner employing people, it’s your duty to understand what rights you have, what rights your employees have, and what laws you need to follow to ensure everyone is happy, healthy and kept out of legal trouble. But for many employers, there are areas of employment law that get missed. Today, we wanted to be able to share with you 3 key areas of employment law, and what they mean for your business.

Protecting The Interests Of The Business

As well as protecting the interests of employees, businesses also need to think about protecting their own interests. This is something that is covered within employment law, and typically covers areas like confidentiality, client connections, , suppliers and intellectual property. This means that any relevant provisions should be included in employment contracts. Depending on the circumstances it may, in certain cases, for example, be appropriate to include clauses preventing employees for a certain period on leaving from competing, soliciting or dealing with clients, suppliers or poaching staff. Any post-termination restriction must, however, go no further than is reasonably necessary to protect the legitimate interests of the business and each case will be different as if its too onerous it will be void and unenforceable.

Unfair Dismissal

Unfair dismissal is one of those grey areas of employment law – one that often depends on the circumstances to determine whether or not the dismissal actually was unfair. But there are still come overarching rules. For example, an employee must have at least 2 years’ service in order to bring an unfair dismissal claim, so employers do have more leeway to dismiss a difficult employee before that time – they would just need to provide notice. But there are some claims that employees could bring without any continuous service requirement, such as whistleblowing or discrimination, so you need to be aware of the nuances. This is where having an employment law retainer like ours can be very handy, and you can seek advice prior to dismissing someone.

Personal Data

Thanks to the implementation of GDPR (which has now been around for over a year), most people are aware of the implications of misusing employee data. But a startling number of businesses are still unaware of their obligations of GDPR, so we wanted to remind you. One of the major areas you need to know about is that personal data must be processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner – which includes employers being required to provide detailed information to their employees about the processing of their personal data.

Ask Us a Question Today

Always Stay On The Right Side!

Of course, handling new changes to employment law can be tricky, especially if you’re running a small HR department. If you’re having issues with staff, policies or procedures, particularly around keeping up with employment legislation, or just struggling to understand what you need to do to be compliant, it doesn’t hurt to get a little help and advice from the employment law experts. At Herefords, we offer hands-on, practical advice and guidance around all elements of employment law. Our service is all about guiding you through the minefield, helping you to understand the law and how it applies to your business, including any new changes that come in. And thanks to our new Employment Law Retainer, you can be confident that your key HR decisions and advice are compliant and appropriate. You can find out more about our employment law retainer by clicking here.

Or for more information on handling issues in the workplace, you can get in touch with us and book your free consultation.

Best,

Zahir Mohammed

Employment Solicitor
0203 669 2216

Confidentiality Clauses – Help Or Hindrance?

Dear

As solicitors, we use the phrase ‘in confidence’ a lot. Which is true – when you speak to us as a client, what you say is held in confidence, which means we won’t tell anyone about it. The same logic applies to confidentiality clauses in contracts, which are designed to stop both parties talking about certain things, especially around certain people. But recently there has been some concern around confidentiality clauses, and whether they are being used to help all parties involved, or simply to abuse them.

What are Confidentiality Clauses?

A confidentiality clause (also known as a non-disclosure agreement or NDA) are contracts put into place between businesses and individuals to stop parties disclosing information. They are most commonly found in employment contracts, designed to stop employees of a business taking their secrets and data to competitors. Overall, they serve a useful and legitimate purpose when used properly, and are a good way for businesses to protect themselves against data leaks or competitor espionage.

The Misuse of Confidentiality Clauses

So if they work, what’s the problem? Well, a number of cases have been raised around the misuse of confidentiality clauses. So many cases in fact, that the government has published a consultation on the subject, to try and find out what they could do to prevent them being abused. There are a number of concerns around the use of these clauses, but the main issue seems to be that employers have been using confidentiality clauses to prevent victims of workplace harassment, discrimination or sexual assault from speaking out.

So What Will Change?

Under the governments new proposal, the use of confidentiality clauses (both within employment contracts and externally as part of a settlement agreement) would be more strictly regulated. However, the government does recognise that confidentiality clauses can benefit both the employee and the employer, so they are not proposing a complete ban on them. Instead, they want to make sure that they are used correctly, and not as a form of ‘gag order’ for employees, particularly when being used in settlement agreements dealing with discrimination and harassment.

Specifically, measures would be taken to:

  • Prohibit the use of any clause preventing disclosures to the police or others.
  • Require all confidentiality clauses in settlement agreements and written statements of employment particulars to highlight clearly what disclosure the clause does not prohibit.
  • Automatically make any confidentiality clause void if it does not meet the new requirements.

For employers, this means you need to review your contracts and agreements and make sure your confidentiality clauses are updated, if you have them.

Ask Us a Question Today

Always Stay On The Right Side!

Of course, handling new changes to employment law can be tricky, especially if you’re running a small HR department. If you’re having issues with staff, policies or procedures, particularly around keeping up with new contract legislation, or just struggling to understand what you need to do to be compliant, it doesn’t hurt to get a little help and advice from the employment law experts. At Herefords, we offer hands-on, practical advice and guidance around all elements of employment law. Our service is all about guiding you through the minefield, helping you to understand the law and how it applies to your business, including any new changes that come in. And thanks to our new Employment Law Retainer, you can be confident that your key HR decisions and advice are compliant and appropriate. You can find out more about our employment law retainer by clicking here.

Or for more information on handling issues in the workplace, you can get in touch with us and book your free consultation.

Best,

Zahir Mohammed

Employment Solicitor
0203 669 2216

2019-06-13T08:29:36+00:00