Employment Law Considerations When Recruiting Staff
It is good practice but not a legal requirement for employers to provide their employees with a detailed job description. If a job description is provided, it helps clarify the requirements of the role for both parties and should include:
- Main purpose of the job
- Key Tasks
- Key Objectives
It is likely that job roles will change over time and employers are entitled to change job descriptions to reflect that.
Employers must have a systematic, fair and objective way to recruit and select new employees.
Employers should advertise their roles as widely as possible.
The Equality Commission has responsibility for enforcing the Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 in Northern Ireland.
Equality Law Considerations During Recruitment Process
Flexible interview times/ structures to meet the needs of different candidates.
Are reasonable adjustments required to facilitate candidates?
Requirement To Register With Equality Commission?
All Employers with 11 or more employees working over 16 hours per week are required to register with the Equality Commission.
This should be done within one month of reaching this level of staff.
Registered employers should monitor the community background of their workforce and report their findings to the Equality Commission.
Flexible working can help improve staff engagement, morale, wellbeing and productivity, whilst allowing employees the opportunity to manage work alongside family and other commitments.
A request for flexible working can cover hours of work, times of work and place of work and may include requests for different patterns of work.
Viable Flexible Working Options
Viable flexible working options in the tourism industry:
- Change in working pattern
- Flexible working hours
- Term working
- Annualised hours
Flexible Working Requests – Employers’ Obligations
Some employees have the statutory right to make a flexible working request.
Employers have a legal duty to consider flexible working applications and establish whether the desired work pattern can be accommodated within the needs of the business.
Employers should consider each application objectively on this basis.
Employers must follow strict statutory process when a formal flexible working request is made.
Failure to do so, could result in Arbitration or a Tribunal Claim being initiated by the employee.
Employers must be mindful of equality law considerations when considering an employee’s flexible working request.
Health and Safety Obligations in the Workplace
Risk assessment is the process of assessing the risks to workers’ safety and health from workplace hazards. It is an examination of all aspects of work that considers:
- What could cause injury or harm?
- Whether the hazards could be eliminated and if not?
- What control measures are, or should be, in place to control the risks?
If you have five or more employees by law you must record the results of your risk assessment.
If you have fewer than five employees you do not have to write anything down, though it is useful so that you can review it at a later date if, for example, something changes.
Risk assessments must be reviewed by an employer if an employee becomes pregnant.
Employers should provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and training in its usage to employees wherever there is a risk or potential risk to health and safety.
PPE is equipment that will protect an employee against health and safety risks at work. It can include items such as safety helmets and hard hats, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safe footwear etc.
An employer cannot charge employees for their PPE, whether it is returnable or not. This includes agency workers, if they are legally regarded as employees.
Adherence to Guidance
Employers should make sure employees using PPE are made aware as to why it is needed, when to use it, how it can be replaced and who to report it to if the PPE is damaged.
Employers should regularly check that PPE is being word by employees.
Employers should regularly check and update their risk assessments and provide refresher training to employees if any new health and safety concerns are identified.