Friday 31 January 2014

4.4 Protecting staff through legislation (laws)

10/10 Key term test - Legislation and the laws that protect employees

  1. Employment law - some employers have always treated their employees fairly, many have not.  Legislation is designed to protect employees from businesses that may treat staff poorly to reduce costs.
  2. Equal Pay Act (1970) - employers must pay men and women equal rates of pay for doing the same job.  What have Birmingham City Council be accused of recently
  3. Minimum Wage Act (1998) - This law sets out the minimum wage per hour that a small business can pay its workers.  Paying someone less is a criminal offence.
  4. Discrimination legislation - This legislation makes it illegal to discriminate against any person in the workplace on the grounds of sex, age, race and disability,  A decision to train and promote a worker can not base their decisions on these, 
  5. Employment rights - employees have many rights in the work place.  These rights are made into legal acts so that workers can be protected from ruthless greedy employers.
  6. Health & Safety - Employees have the right to work in a safe and healthy environment but they also have a responsibility for their own health and safety and that of others.  If the see or do something that puts others at risk they will be breaking this law.
  7. Disability discrimination (2004) - This legislation is designed to protect disabled employees and applicants.  If a a new business advertised for an employee and the best candidate was disabled they would be breaking the law if they did not offer them the job. 
  8. Maternity & Paternity leave - This law gives new parents previously women the right to take up to a year off work when they have a baby.  The mother is entitled to return to her previous job and not have to accept a demotion.  A business cannot dismiss a women because she is pregnant.  What are the current changes in the UK that will soon benefit fathers?
  9. Contracts of employment - once  a job offer is made to an applicant and accepted the business is required to issue a contract of employment within 12 weeks of the employee starting the job.  This should state the terms and conditions of the job, pay, benefits, bonus, grievance procedures and notice periods.
  10. Industrial tribunal - if an employee feels that they are being treated unfairly or have been treated outside the legislation that is designed to protect them they can appeal to the industrial tribunal.  This is a court that will listen to the evidence and make a decision on the case and award compensation and issue fines accordingly

Lesson objective: To understand:

  • employment rights of workers
  • the laws against discrimination at work and during recruitment
  • how equal pay and minimum wage laws affect businesses
  • Health and safety laws
The video clip will be used to develop your understanding click here to see it.

Examiners Tip

You will not have to name and quote specific laws in the exam.  You will just have to understand them and be able to explain their effect on a small business

Key concepts
  • What do we mean by legislation?
  • What is Discrimination?
  • What is a Union?
  • What is a contract of employment?


Using the resources above to complete: 
  1. In your teams research the internet and try to find stories in the news where companies have fallen fowl of not maintaining the law with regard to equal pay, minimum wage and discrimination law. What would such publicity do to any company that was found not to comply See links from BBC here and the article here in the Telegraph or this article on line here 
Stretch and Challenge
  1. Now try this worksheet: Legislation affecting staff here
  2. Now try this worksheet: Remuneration here
  3. Now try this worksheet Treating staff fairly here
  4. and finish with the TOPIC test here

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