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Practical employment law information for your organisation.


Establishing a successful recruitment process and clear written employment contracts for new employees can have a major impact on your business.

Every business needs to be aware of its obligations under minimum wage and equal pay laws, as well as recent pensions auto-enrolment changes.

You must comply with legal restrictions on employees' working hours and time off, or risk claims, enforcement action and even prosecution.

The right employment policies are an essential part of effective staff management. Make sure any policy is clear and well communicated to employees.

While sick employees need to be treated fairly, you need to ensure that 'sickness' is not being used as cover for unauthorised absence.

Most pregnant employees are entitled to maternity leave and maternity pay, while new fathers are entitled to paternity leave and paternity pay.

As well as undermining morale, illegal discrimination can lead to workplace grievances. Employee discrimination is covered by the Equality Act 2010.

Home, remote and lone workers are becoming increasingly commonplace. Key issues include communication and how to manage and motivate people remotely.

The right approach to consulting with and providing information to your employees can improve employee motivation and performance.

Disciplinary and grievance issues can be a major burden to employers. Putting in place and following the right procedures is essential.

Following the right dismissal and redundancy procedures helps protect your business and minimise the risk of a legal dispute at tribunal.

Employment tribunal claims are a worrying prospect for any employer. A tribunal case is a no-win situation – even if the claim is unjustified.

As the going gets tough, shoppers rally around small firms

21 June 2022

A poll of small firms in the UK has found that there is widespread evidence that consumers are showing more support for independent shops and businesses as UK trading conditions worsen.

Over half (52%) of small businesses say customers are choosing to shop small to support them during what have become very challenging trading conditions, brought about by cost and supply chain pressures. That's the finding of new research from American Express, released to coincide with its summer Shop Small campaign that helps support the UK's local and independent businesses.

The research, conducted by Opinium on behalf of American Express, found that more than half (55%) of small businesses have reported seeing a rise in new customers purchasing from their business over the past six months.

When it comes to the future, two-thirds (66%) of small business respondents said they are expecting sales to grow over the next year, with over one-third (35%) saying they are optimistic about prospects for their business.

Dan Edelman, vice president and general manager UK Merchant Services at American Express, said: "After the many challenges of the last few years, it's heartening see that customer support for the nation's valuable small businesses remains strong. We're proud to champion these businesses, which is why we're encouraging our cardmembers to show their appreciation by shopping locally with the return of Shop Small this month, available at more locations than ever before."

First launched ten years' ago, Shop Small helps independent businesses attract customers through their doors. Between 20-26 June, American Express cardmembers will receive a £5 statement credit when they spend £15 or more at participating small businesses across the UK. This offer can be used up to five times, once per participating small business location. The total number of participating locations this summer has risen by 19% since December 2021.

American Express is also the founder and principal supporter of Small Business Saturday, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year on 3 December.

Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday UK, said: "Such optimism shown towards small businesses is fantastic to see, especially as we navigate through a challenging time when they need our support more than ever. Choosing to back campaigns such as Shop Small and Small Business Saturday is an excellent way to get behind our nation's independents and give them the recognition they deserve."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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