Employment Law Problems for Startups to Look Out For

Starting up your own business can be daunting as it is without having to worry about employment law.  Finding the right staff can definitely be a challenge as you want to make sure you find the right employees for your company.  Even when you have the right people are in place, there are lots of things that you need to take into consideration when it comes to the road ahead.  We have put together a list of some of the things you need to be aware of, so you can avoid a no win no fee employment claim from staff. 

As an employee, you would also have responsibility to make sure that you have clarity on the below, and to take seek advice from employee law specialists such as Spencers Solicitors if there are any concerns. A company like Spencers offer a wide range of employment law advice which you can get through their website, or by contacting them over the phone. If you feel like there are issues in your company, you could also raise the problems with HR or with your manager to ensure that everything is in order.

Insufficient Employment Documents

Proper employment documents are essential when it comes to kick starting the relationship between employer and employee.  This is your opportunity to ensure that you convey expectations, obligations and other information relating to company procedures to your employee.  This should be the first thing you should do as soon as someone new starts.  An employee handbook is also something that you should look at implementing even if you don’t have many members of staff.  This will detail all of your main policies such as holidays, maternity/paternity leave and related content.  It’s a good idea to have this read over by a lawyer to make sure everything is as it should be before using it.

Be Careful Not to Violate Employment Law

Violating employment law isn’t something we are suggesting that you would do on purpose, however it does happen even unintentionally.  This is relative to ensuring that employees are working no more than a 48 working week on average.  It’s also essential that you make sure that you meet the minimum wage levels in terms of paying employee wages.  There is also the option to give employees equity in the company as part of their employment which is something that’s happening more regularly these days.  This is something that’s much more complicated and shouldn’t be done without appropriate advice.

Employee Classification

This one is important.  Do you know if you are going to be employing people as an actual employee – or on a freelance or consulting basis?  This needs to be decided and classified correctly before they start work.  Sometimes start-up businesses use freelancers or consultants when they aren’t quite ready to pay for full time employees.  This is potentially one of the biggest challenges that they face. If it isn’t characterised as it should be, this in itself violates employment law. You need to think about what your financial capabilities are and what the requirements of the company are before making the decision as to the kind of employer and employee relationship you are putting in place.

If you are starting up a company, then make sure that you are prepared for any employment law challenges that may come your way and take preventative measures, so you don’t find yourself in hot water further down the line. 

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