If you employ staff, whether they are full time, part time or casual workers then you have implications relating to the Employment law. This is a huge area and one you should seek professional advice upon.
Quite often the right set up and documentation can save time and money in the future. Some of the main areas covered by employment law is around fair recruitment, management and dismissal procedures, providing written conditions of employment, minimum wage compliance (which is reviewed regularly), disciplinary and grievance procedures and policies that cover areas such as discrimination rules, maternity and paternity leave, rules on absence and sick leave pay,
Some other legal considerations will be more business or situation specific such as:
- Protect your relationships with suppliers or customers for things you buy or sell – showing considerations of ownership, responsibilities and expectations. Care should be taken as a verbal contract can be considered in some situations.
- Trading terms & conditions – Ensure you can rely on your documentation. Have you reviewed the small print? Do your terms ensure you control your own product or service?
- Partnership or, if a company, a shareholder agreement protecting the interests of the owners in the case of dispute, death or separation.
- Premises requirements – Do you need planning consent for structural requirements or use of the property? Have you taken advice on the rent or lease contract? What are your rights especially in shared premises? What are your responsibilities for repairs?
- Intellectual property – do you need to protect your ideas with patents, copyright or trademarks?
- Protecting the consumer – are you responsible for product defects causing injury or damage? Have you considered the trade descriptions act including false representation such as a product description
- Franchising – has an expert reviewed your franchise agreement,
- Recovering bad debts – don’t be afraid to use legal methods to recover monies due to you. A good customer is only one that pays.
- Software licences – Are they held and does your use comply with those licences
- Regulations specific to your industry sector have been considered
- Data protection – if you are processing and storing personal information, then you should register with the information commissioner. Be careful there are a number of scams offering to do this for you, but it is simple to do the registration direct at www.ico.gov.uk.
These are just a few of the reasons you should seek professional legal advice, which I recommend at all times. It may cost you upfront, but from my experience worth the investment.
If you have something that you would wish to run past a lawyer, then happy to make recommendations and introductions to my trusted network.