Guide index - HR employment law and your business

Employment law checklist for employers

How good is your business or organisation at employment law compliance and HR? This is our checklist for UK employers.


You and your managers who are involved in the recruitment process are fully aware of the issues and have a clear understanding of how to compose job advertisements, make selections and conduct interviews in a manner which will not leave you open to accusations of discrimination.

You use a job application form and recruitment process letters which are legally compliant, up to date and make clear your commitment to avoid discrimination during the recruitment process and allow you to identify any need to make adjustments to compensate for disabilities.

You make checks to ensure candidates are eligible for employment in the UK.

Terms and conditions

You issue each employee with a legally-compliant statement of terms and conditions of employment, or a written contract of employment which incorporates the statutory statement, within two months of starting employment.

You issue a written contract of employment with clauses that clearly cover areas such as deductions from pay, the costs of training, care of work clothing and equipment that may be supplied, use of company vehicles or the employee’s own vehicle for work, the use of alcohol or drugs at work and any other potentially contentious areas.

You also issue employees with, or allow them access to, a written staff handbook with clear employment policies and procedures.

To ensure the documents you are using are legally correct, wew recommend that you use Lawrite templates.

Wages, equal pay, and sick pay

All workers receive at least the minimum wage and are issued with itemised pay slips. Men and women are paid equally for the same work and part-timers are paid pro-rata at the same rates as comparable full-time staff.

You have a clear sick pay scheme in operation which exceeds statutory sick pay, or you only pay SSP.

Working time, breaks and annual leave

You monitor workers’ hours to ensure you don’t ask them to work more than 48 hours a week, and if you do need people to work more than 48 hours a week you get their written consent, and all workers get at least the minimum work breaks.

Your holiday pay scheme gives all workers a minimum of 28 days annual leave or pro-rata for part-time workers. All workers are aware of their entitlements in clear written policies contained in your staff handbook.

Fixed term and part-time work

Part-time workers get the same hourly rates of pay, the same leave entitlements proportionate to the number of days they work each week, the same entitlement to parental leave, and the same access to promotion opportunities.

Fixed term workers receive the same pay and conditions, the same or equivalent benefits package and pension scheme, and the same opportunities to apply for vacancies for permanent posts as permanent employees.

All part-time and fixed-term workers are aware of their entitlements in clear written policies contained in your staff handbook.

Even if you don’t currently employ part-timers, or any with comparable full-time posts, or fixed term workers, or any with comparable posts, you are fully aware of the issues.

Disciplinary and grievances, dismissals and redundancy

You and your managers are fully aware of the unfair dismissal laws and the need to follow proper procedures when dealing with staff disciplinary and grievance issues dismissals and redundancies.

You have written disciplinary and grievance procedures which are issued to employees and followed when dealing with situations that arise.

You have access to advice from qualified employment lawyers or HR specialists about disciplinary issues and dismissals or resolving grievances.

You have a written performance review procedure which is used by managers where appropriate.

You have a written redundancy policy and procedure.

Equality and discrimination

You and your managers who deal with staff are fully aware of your legal responsibilities over equality and unlawful discrimination issues in the workplace.

You have full written equal opportunities and equality policies which are distributed to your employees in a staff handbook.

You and your managers are alert to signs of unlawful discrimination or bullying by workers to other workers and of the action that should be taken to stop or prevent it happening.

Time off work

You are fully aware of the right to time off for family and dependants and have a clear written policy in your staff handbook.

You are also fully aware of other circumstances in which employees have a right to take leave from work including ante natal appointments, trade union duties, accompanying another worker to a disciplinary or grievance hearing and time off for “public duties” and you have a clear written policy in place so that employees know their rights and the procedure to follow to keep you informed.

Right to apply for flexible working

You are aware of the right to request flexible working arrangements and the limited grounds on which you can lawfully refuse such an application. You have a flexible working policy in your staff handbook so that employees are aware if the right to request flexible working and the procedure to follow.

Working parents

You are fully aware of the rights and entitlements of working parents.

You have clear written policies in your staff handbook to cover Parental Leave, Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave.

Health and safety

You are fully aware of the relevant health and safety standards that affect your business and your responsibilities under the law.

You have a written health and safety policy (if you have more than five employees) which is accessible to your employees or in your staff handbook.

You have carried out risk assessments in your workplace, which you update when appropriate.

How did you do?

If you are doing everything listed above, you are on top of employment law compliance and good HR.

If not, you need our help – see more information about Lawrite fixed-cost subscription services for employers at the Lawrite Lawshop.

Lawrite Lawshop

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Lawrite services have been used by thousands of small business employers in the UK to give them the legal documents and the HR and employment law support they need.

Buy the Lawrite Documents package now at the Lawrite Lawshop and be producing contracts of employment, employee handbooks and health and safety statements within minutes.

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