Your Duties as an Employer

from Silk Helix
Photograph of Jenefer Livings, Founder of Silk Helix Ltd
30 October 2021
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Issue a Statement of Particulars

All employees and workers are entitled to be provided with a statement of particulars by the end of day one of employment. What this really means is that section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 provides a list of information that must be supplied, some of which must be in one document others can be referred to and provided separately.

As an employer, you will want to provide not only this information but also contractual terms that protect your business, such as defining when you can deduct from wages, lay-off clauses and the right to pay in lieu of notice.


All employees and workers, including Apprentices must be paid through the PAYE scheme. You must provide a pay statement showing how much is being paid and the deductions. A payslip can be issued as a paper document, attached to an email or within an online system.

You must pay at least the national minimum wage or national living wage relevant to the individual’s age. Ensure you have processes in place to increase minimum wage payments when someone reaches a birthday as well as in line with annual increases.

Holiday and Time off

All employees and Workers are entitled to statutory minimum holiday of 5.6 weeks, this is 28 days for someone who works 5 days a week and can include bank/public holidays as well as any company shut down periods.

Other rights to time off include:

  • Sickness absence
  • Maternity, Paternity, Adoption and Shared Parental leave
  • Time off to deal with an unexpected incident with a dependant - such as breakdown in childcare
  • Public duties
  • Bereavements - the law only covers parents, you may decide it’s right for your business to allow people time off for other reasons

Fair Dismissal

Most employments will end with a resignation, people move on for all sorts of reasons and it’s no bad thing. There will however, be times when you need to dismiss and there are five fair reasons for dismissal:

  • Redundancy
  • Conduct
  • Capability
  • Illegality - e.g. no longer having the right to work in the UK or not having the relevant licence to perform the role
  • Some other substantial reason

Even when you have a fair reason for dismissal, a fair process must be followed, the exact process will depend on the reason and circumstances. It is usually expected that dismissal is a last resort and other options have been considered.

Health and Safety

Employers have a duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees and indeed anyone who may be affected by their business, you must do whatever is reasonably practicable to achieve this.

This includes the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at the cost of the employer. You can protect your costs by stating that you will deduct from wages when PPE has been deliberately damaged or damaged through negligence, for this to be a lawful deduction from wages you must have the written agreement of employees.

Data Protection

Employers are responsible for ensuring all data they process is done so in compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) regulates compliance with data protection legislation, many organisations are required to be registered with them. Employers must ensure they consider the data they are collecting, only collecting and using data when they have a legitimate reason to do so.

Return on your Investment

For many businesses, wages are the highest monthly outgoings, they should be an investment not a cost. You have a responsibility to your business and your employees to ensure you get a return on that investment. Provide a healthy working environment where people thrive and get the best out of your teams.

Whilst training can feel like an additional cost on an already high wage bill, not training people will mean you fall behind. In our rapidly changing world we all need to keep up and develop our skills for the future. When you provide people with that opportunity they will stay and you will reap the rewards.

It’s not just about spending more, getting the best out of people is crucial. Know where the business is going, ensure everyone understands the goal and the role they play. Know what you’re getting for your money, set expectations. When expectations aren’t met, manage it quickly before things get too tricky. Keep people motivated by focusing them on the goal as well as considering their personal motivations.

While this guide covers the basics, every situation has its own complexities so you should always seek professional advice.
We can help, so book a Free Advice Call .

Article last updated: 30 October 2021

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