Whenever new Statutory rights for employees are announced I wait for the inevitable outcry from business leaders. The CBI and others hit the media about how many businesses will shut, how many jobs will be lost, and how it is all a catastrophe. Yet, strangely, I’ve never seen a report confirming these disaster scenarios.
With all of the media attention the recent case regarding overtime pay being linked to holiday pay I thought it was worth giving a round up of all the Statutory Rights that employees have under English employment law.
It’s my belief that Statutory Rights not only benefit staff, but also employers. Let’s have a look at some examples of the benefits employers can gain from giving staff their Statutory Rights.
|Statutory Right||Advantage to Employers|
|Written statement of terms of employment||Provides clarity for both sides, and can be useful in cases of dispute|
|Itemised pay slip||As above|
|Be paid at least minimum wage||Employers will be more likely to attract good candidates, and have a good reputation. Avoids possible prosecution.|
|No illegal deductions from pay||Prevents disputes. Avoids possible legal action.|
|Paid holidays||Reduction of staff stress, and therefore enhances likelihood of better performance.|
|Time off for trade union duties (does not have to be paid)||Co-operation between business and owners can mean a happier workforce|
|Paid time off to look for work if being made redundant||Allowing this is simply fair, and I’m sure no employer would deny it. If they did, the staff member would probably not work efficiently during their redundancy period|
|Time off for study for 16-17 year olds||A better skilled and educated workforce helps any business. You will also be building staff loyalty.|
|Paid time for anti-natal care||Whether the staff member plans to return to work after her baby’s birth or not, you will want to ensure you do everything possible to ensure the health of her and her baby-to-be.|
|Paid maternity leave||This is a major gripe for some employers, yet by paying this you enhance the chance of a good worker returning to work for you|
|Paid paternity leave||Paternity leave allows couples more options about which of them work and which attends to childcare. Women might return to work earlier. Couples may be less exhausted.|
|To ask for flexible working||Flexible working often suits business needs to cover opening hours.|
|Paid adoption leave||see ‘Paid maternity leave’|
|Unpaid parental leave for both women and men, including time off in an emergency||Any parent who is distracted by the need to attend to their child or loved one will not give their work their full attention.|
|Work a maximum 48 hour week||Anyone working longer than this is unlikely to work well. Mistakes cost money. Ill health through overwork costs your business too.|
|Weekly and daily rest breaks||See above|
|Notice of dismissal,Written reasons for dismissal||Employers should provide proper induction; training; annual reviews and regular feedback on performance. These actions are likely to reduce the need to dismiss staff. However, if the need does arise the reason should already be well known to the staff member.|
|Claim redundancy pay||Staff being made redundant often face financial hardship. Making these payments means that staff will work better during the redundancy period and not damage your reputation by complaining to others.|
|Not to suffer detriment or dismissal for ‘blowing the whistle’||Only firms who indulge in poor practice would object to this|
|Part time workers to have the same contractual rights (pro rata)||This costs employers no more than employing a full timer as the rights are pro-rated|
|Fixed-term employee to receive the same contractual rights as permanent employees||Fixed term employees often have their contracts extended or renewed, or become permanent members of staff. Giving these rights ensures loyalty to your business|
Revisiting this list, common themes emerge. Giving employees their statutory rights means that:
- You gain staff loyalty. This means, less ‘sickies’, higher productivity and lower staff turnover. What business wouldn’t want that?
- Your reputation is protected. Denying staff their rights leaves you open to prosecution and all the media attention that follows. Your business is likely to suffer as a result.
- Senior Management time saved. If your staff take you to an Industrial Tribunal you can wave goodbye to hours and hours of work as you prepare for the Tribunal, and days or weeks away from your desk when you attend it. Of course, there may be huge legal costs too.
- Less time lost from stress and tiredness.
- Less likelihood of strikes with their resultant financial losses and media attention
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