Monday, 3 November 2014

The UK employment laws all UK businesses should know about - guest post

If the Conservatives win the next General Election, David Cameron has promised a referendum over Britain’s future in the European Union by the end of 2017. This has called into question what changes could be made to UK employment law.

If Britain does choose to remain in the EU and Cameron is able to successfully renegotiate the terms of Britain’s inclusion, which laws could be altered?

It is vital that all employers understand the current laws that might be altered, especially smaller businesses without corporate support. Here are a few of the current British employment laws linked to EU regulations.

The Working Time Regulations Act 1998

The Working Time Regulations Act 1998 supports the EU Working Time Directive and is the means by which UK break times and weekly working hours are monitored. The act dictates that:

·         Workers must work no more than 48 hours per week.

·         The mandatory right to annual paid leave is a minimum of 28 days, including public holidays.

·         The right to a minimum rest period of 20 minutes for any shift lasting 6 or more hours.

TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006

TUPE defends employees from changes that could occur when a business is sold or taken over. This protects from changes made by both the outgoing employer and the new employer taking control.

The Part Time Employees Act 2000

The Part Time Employees Regulations act of 2000 exists to assure that all employees working shorter hours are given rights and privileges equivalent to their full time peers.

The Agency Workers Regulations Act 2010

The Agency Workers act is in place to ensure that agency workers employed by UK businesses receive the same treatment as permanently employed staff.

Paid Parental Leave Act 2010

This act ensures that employees taking time out from work for childcare purposes are provided with paid leave, holiday allowances and the right to return to their job when the agreed period is over.

Equal Pay rights under The Equality Act of 2010.

The equality act ensures equal pay is granted to all employees performing the same job. This covers women’s right to earn the same as men, and gives self-employed workers the same rights as corporately employed employees. This law caters for:

·         Full and part-time workers

·         Employees on casual or temporary contracts

·         Apprentices

Various EU laws have caused disagreements between EU member states due to political, social and economic differences. This can be seen in Britain’s numerous attempts to block certain EU employment legislation and delay introduction of these laws.

Conservative plans to alter Britain’s dependence on EU law has led the Trade Union Congress to challenge Tory intentions, alleging they want certain laws to correspond with conservative agenda. The acts most frequently accused of being manipulated are the Agency Workers Regulations and Working Time Regulations acts.

Would you like to see Britain move away from EU employment legislation? Comment and let us know.

This blog was submitted on behalf of Nationwide Employment Lawyers; an expert UK law firm specialising in all areas of employment law. Visit their website for details:


Please note that whilst every effort is made to maintain accuracy of the content in this article; we cannot take responsibility for any errors. This author is not an Employment Lawyer or HR Specialist and this cannot in any way constitute a substitute for Employment Law advice. All facts should be cross-checked against other sources. Should you require specific Employment Law advice, then we recommend that you contact Nationwide Employment Lawyers.



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