Legislations are rules that you must follow when running your business. As not all laws will apply to every business, I have not included all of them. However, you will need to identify which ones apply to your particular situation.
Employment law protects employees' rights and ensures their safety and health. We will discuss the most important rules that should be considered when employing staff.
1974 Health and Safety at Work Act
The safety of machinery and premises must not be compromised. Employing five or more employees requires a written security and health policy. You also need to conduct risk assessments. These documents must be recorded and communicated to your employees.
Equal Pay Act of 1970
All employees must receive the same pay regardless of their sex.
1975 Sex Discrimination Act
At any stage of employment, training, or recruitment, employees cannot be discriminated against.
Race Relations Act of 1976
Discrimination against someone because of their race, color, or ethnicity is illegal.
1978 Employment Protection Act
Employers must give employees a written contract for employment. It protects them against unfair dismissal and allows them to request redundancy pay if their job is no longer required after two years.
To protect customers against unfair business practices, Consumer Protection Rights are available.
Act on the Sale and Supply of Goods
Goods must meet a reasonable standard. It applies to all goods that consumers have agreed to purchase.
Trade Descriptions Act
You must accurately describe the goods and services you offer and not provide misleading information.
Distance Selling Act
You may need to give a cooling-off period for some selling methods such as online shopping. It allows customers to change their minds and receive a refund.
Data Protection Act
Anyone who needs to have customer information will be affected by this. It applies to most businesses. These protections are essential, and you should fully understand them. For more information, please visit the Information Commissioner's Office.
Creating internal legal documents can help instill confidence in your company for all stakeholders, including customers, employees, and potential investors.
As your business grows, you'll likely update and expand on your company handbook. It is a summary of your business's practices. It would help if you made it available to all staff members at all times. Here are some suggestions.
Your mission statement for your company
Your employees are interested in knowing the purpose and goals of your company. Your mission statement is key to this. It should generally include the history and vision of your company and the goals that you are aiming to achieve.
Policies of your company
Your company policies should be considered extensions of legal stipulations and any other company-specific policies. It could be anything you consider essential, such as a clear policy for your desk outside of office hours that protects data or how you want staff members to answer the phones.
Information on legal and human resources related to employment
You will need to address these issues if you don't have an HR department that can help you define every policy.
It is a good idea not to make any company policies binding for employees to modify the guidelines in your employee handbook at any time.
A solicitor should be on your retainer to ensure that you have access to legal advice when you need it. Although you won't necessarily need a lawyer when starting a small business, having someone to call you for help is a great benefit.
You can find large national companies that provide this service, such as Judge Napolitano. However, you might prefer to speak with a local solicitor.
When pitching investors or applying for funding, it may be necessary to include a legal action plan in your business plan. In addition, to make your management tool more effective, it's a good idea to have specific legal steps in your milestones.
This guide covers many legal elements, so creating a separate legal action program may be more accessible. Employment Law is a significant part of legal planning. If you don't plan to hire staff and operate your business yourself, you may only need an essential legal checklist.
To ensure that everything is covered, make sure to have a plan.
It may all seem overwhelming as there are so many things to consider. However, I hope this guide will help you plan and fulfill your legal obligations. Start small, but think about the bigger picture. To keep your vision alive, you should always refer back to your business plan.
For any questions or concerns regarding specific legal requirements, visit the official UK government website. Or contact a lawyer directly for assistance. We wish you all the best with your new venture.