Employment law basics
Times when you may need information on employment law include:
- starting a new business where you will be employing people
- closing or selling a business with existing employees
- changing the structure of your business in ways that may impact existing employees
- changing your business premises
- when your business is expanding and you need to take on new employees
- when you need to replace employees who have left the business
- considering redundancies
- operating in industries with health and safety requirements, like construction or chemical manufacturing
- handling complaints or claims from employees
- considering disciplinary action against an employee.
Employment law and regulations – Government guide on general employment.
Hiring employees: recruitment guide – A guide on how to go about hiring your first employee and your legal obligations.
A guide to employment contracts – Government guide to contracts between employers and employees. This includes information about terms, changes to existing contracts and collective agreements which involve trade unions.
Contracts of employment and working hours – Government A-Z covering issues with employment contracts.
Template employment statement – A Government template that shows what all employees are entitled to receive within 2 months of starting work.
See also 'Zero hours contracts'
Apprentice/ work experience
9 things employers need to know about apprenticeships - DAS Law explains what factors and legal obligations employers need to consider regarding apprenticeship schemes.
Work experience: legal requirements – A Health and Safety Executive guide covering the health and safety obligations when taking on work experience placements.
Employing people from overseas
Rules around overseas employees – HMRC on checking someone’s legal right to work in the UK and the tax considerations.
Zero hours contracts
A guide to zero hours contracts – Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), if you are considering using zero hours contracts.
Employer’s liability insurance
The law on employers' liability insurance – Government information on the legal requirement to have employers’ liability insurance.
Employers’ liability insurance – the Association of British Insurers guide to this type of insurance.
Get insurance for your business – Health and Safety Executive information on employers’ liability insurance.
Staff benefits and rights
Annual leave entitlements
Legal requirements for annual leave – Government facts on the leave you must provide your employees.
Paying your employees
Employers pay obligations – Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service’s (ACAS) guide to your obligations when paying your employees.
Tax and employees
See the Tax factsheet for information on this topic.
Changing employment contracts
Varying a contract of employment – Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) guide to changing employment contracts.
Employee health and safety
Health & Safety made simple – Health and Safety Executive guide to managing health and safety basics.
Discrimination and equality
The law on equality – Government overview to your legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010.
The Equality Act: guidance for small businesses – The Equality & Human Rights Commission advice on meeting your duties.
Equality monitoring – Government guide to employers’ responsibilities when it comes to recording and holding personal information about your staff.
Shared parental leave
The Shared Parental Leave regulations – Government guide to the requirements you need to consider.
Good practice guide – Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) information aimed at both employers and employees.
Pension rights for your employees
Workplace pensions: employers’ responsibilities – Government guide to the legal requirements around workplace pensions.
Selling your business
Employee protections when selling or taking over a business – Government guide to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations.
Employment disputes and other legal issues
Handling employment disputes – Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service guide to disputes and how to handle them.
Being taken to an employment tribunal – Government guide to the employment tribunal process from an employer’s perspective, including the grounds on which an employee can take you to a tribunal.
Disciplinary action and dismissing staff
Taking disciplinary action against an employee – Government guide to the rules and procedures for disciplinary action.
Dismissing staff – Government guide to fairly and legally ending an employees contract.
Disciplinary and grievance procedures – Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service’s (ACAS) covering both disciplinary and grievance procedures.
Making staff redundant
Making staff redundant – Government guide to the processes and employees’ rights.
Employment law advisers
As a small business owner, you may decide to take employment law advice. There are many different types of people who can give this advice. These include:
- Chartered legal executives
- Specialist bodies like the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)
- Business advisers
For a list of questions to ask a legal services provider before you take legal advice, visit our provider checklist.
Last reviewed: 8 January 2019