Is it time to go back to school and brush up on your employment law knowledge?

The summer holidays are officially over and it’s time to head back to school.

Karen Credie KMC HR ‘back to school’School days are often considered the ‘best days of your life’, yet as we move into our careers, ongoing learning and educating ourselves seems to become less of a priority. There are some areas of business life that it’s possible to get by without training or a conscious effort to acquire new knowledge. HR and employee management isn’t one of them.

The world of employment law is fast-paced and the rules that applied 10 years ago will almost certainly have moved on by today. You only need to look at the legislation around ‘protected characteristics’, such as gender and disability, that have progressed significantly over the last decade.

The bottom line is, if you fail to keep up with employment legislation, you risk falling into problems with employee disputes or even employment tribunal claims.

Even if you yourself as a business leader have made a conscious effort to keep up to date with employment legislation, the same perhaps may not apply for the rest of your management team. One group that is almost certain to be aware of the law and their rights is your employees! So if your knowledge – and importantly the practices you have in place – don’t come up to standard, it’s only a matter of time before you could be called to account.

Alongside changes in the law, the workplace itself is developing at a rapid pace. Technology is paving the way for changes in the way we work – flexible working is becoming increasingly commonplace, and the ways in which people can undertake their work vary greatly – be it part time, seasonal, contractual, remote or other.

Aside from formal proceedings being brought against you by an employee for a breach of employment law, there are many other reasons why keeping up to date with modern employment practices is a good idea. Staff that are not able to work in the way they would like – ie. with ‘non-standard’ hours or some remote working – will almost certainly start to look elsewhere for employment. Keeping staff happy is the bedrock to a successful and productive business and, as with most aspects of life, failing to move with the times will almost certainly prove detrimental at one stage or another.

How up-to-date are you with your employment law knowledge? Is it time your management team brushed up on legislation and current ways of thinking so far as HR practices are concerned? KMC Human Resources can work with you to review and update your approach to HR and employee management. Whether you choose to outsource your HR function entirely or manage elements of it in-house, professional support can give you the confidence you need to manage your workforce effectively. For more information or for a free of charge initial consultation, please contact us.