Employment laws meant to cushion the employees against any form of oppression they may face at their workplaces (Cabrelli 2010). In UK, these employment laws differed in that workers and employees enjoyed different protection, the employees enjoys greater rights than workers. Despite the difference, every person working for an employer is entitled to national minimum wage, protection from discrimination and right not to work for more than 48 hours per week. The employment laws apply universally whether the employees and workers are permanent or working on a temporary basis (Langley 2011). Employment regulations reviewed each year particularly in UK to guide small and medium businesses rampant for exploiting its employees. Currently, The UK employment laws include
– Trade union and labor relations Act enacted in 1992
– An agency workers regulation that states the relations between the workers and agencies they are working.
– Employee consultation is a regulation demanding that each employer consults its employees before taking any action perceived to be touching on the employees.
– Other regulations are TUPE regulations and rights concerning employees.
In April 2012, a regulation concerning unfair employment dismissal enacted. The aim of this was to reduce incidences of claims brought before the Employment Tribunal. Furthermore, in 2013 the government of UK introduced fees levied on those making claims before the Employment Tribunal. The main aim of the regulation was to help businesses to save the litigation costs and encourage early mediation and conciliation between the two conflicting parties.
Labor laws in the UK involve the legal association between workers, employers, and workers` trade union. There are different charter rights in the UK that protect the working rights of employees. Some of these rights include the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 that ensures that works under the age of 21 are entitled to a minimum wage of 6. 31 sterling pounds. The Working Time Regulations 1998 provides for the payment of 28 holidays and less than 48 working hours unless individual workers consent. There is also the Employment Rights Act 1996 provides employees with right to leave to take care of children, and advocates for flexible working conditions. This Act also states the terms of dismissal of employees, the time before dismissal in which an employer must provide reasonable notice, notably after one month of work (Davidov & Langille 2011).
Employers are also entitled to free participation in decisions concerning their affairs and management of their enterprise. This made possible through implementation of statutory rights and customary models of collective bargaining agreements. The Pensions Act of 2004 enables workers to codetermine the management of their occupational pensions.
The terms of employment are features of work place, regulations, and terms of service that promised to employees. These terms should not contravene with the statutory minimum rights and can integrate by reasonable notice. Employment laws in the UK deals with issues including health and safety law advice, workplace disputes, disciplinary procedures, maternity and paternity leaves, absence from work, and company policies and procedures (Wiedenbeck 2010).
Terms of employment in the workplace situation normally requires mutual agreement. This means that both parties in the deal must respect the terms of contract and work environment is both employers and their workers must agree on the necessary terms of service. According to the UK employment policies, employers must embrace equality for both male and female employees based on wage payments. In this perspective, employees should pay their employees indiscriminately.
Government policies require that employers pay their workers indifferently. According to these policies, employees who do not pay their workers equitably risk court action. However, employees can justify their decisions to apply differential pay rates in making payments. Their justification normally based on exemptions provided by the employment laws.
Employers can make differential payments according to sex, age, time of working, and place of work. The different modes of payments provided in the employment contract forms. According to these terms, employees should be made aware of their contracts and terms of payments and work. This is because they are entitled to the right to be given written statement of terms and conditions of employment. Before making any decisions to cut wages, employers should inform employees on the need to make pay cuts. This is because employment law ensures that employees do not suffer unauthorized deductions in their pay slips (Francioni & Ronzitti 2011).
– Equal Pay Act 1970 S. I. Equality Clause
According to this Act, employees shall not provide less favorable treatment between men and women on matters concerning their pay and terms of employment. This Act also states that an equality clause shall not be included in relation to the differences between the contracts of men and women when an employer shows that the disparity is genuinely because of a material factor that is not the alteration of sex and that given factor.
With respect to this Act, it will be difficult for employers to offer differential payments to their workers because of their sex. Failure to observe this regulation will mean that stern measures taken against such measures. This means that the employer should genuinely convince law enforcers that there is a need to pay employees at different rates even if they are working at the same workplace and conditions (Pratt & Reece 2010).
An exemption is provided in this Act through a clause in section 1, F2 (3) of the Act. According to this clause, an employer may be allowed to make differential payments based on the gender to both men and women. This is the only way for the employer to justify his/her decision to apply differential payments. This is because exemptions only allowed if the decisions made according to the material difference between men and women in the workplace.
– Equal Pay Directive – EU – 1975
According to this Directive, employers have the right to complain of harassment or unfair treatment under the EU and UK legislation (Blanpain 2010). Under this Directive, the following legislation is applied in order to implement the Equal Pay directive of 1975: The Equal Pay Act 1970, The Sex Discrimination Act 1975, The Race Relations Act 1076, The Disability Discrimination Act 1995, and The Fixed-time Work Regulations 2000.
These statutes make it difficult for employees to apply differential payments to their employees who are at the same job groups. The Equal Pay Act 1970 compels employers to make equal payments to their employees without biases according to their age, gender, or working conditions. In this perspective, it will be difficult for employees to make unequal payments to their employees unless they provide genuine reasons for such disparities (Hood et al 2011).
Employers can justify differential wage rates by basing payments on time of work and the shifts that employees work. This made it possible through the night shift differential rates. According to these rates, employees who work at night are entitled to better enumeration terms compared to their fellow workers who work only during the day. This provides employers with the freedom to apply differential wage rates to their works.
4. 0 Like work
According to employment regulations, like work` is the kind of work that is the same or similar. Like work have equal remunerations no matter of the gender of the person who did it. Any differences in payments of like work can only be justified by practical importance. Different jobs can be perceived as like work. Example of such jobs is lecturers teaching different subjects working within the same employment. Payments in like work is not primarily basic but also covers access to overtime, holidays, and other issues of pay back (Pratt & Reece 2010).
Employers should first find out if the work is the same. Dissimilar job titles, job descriptions and definitions or contractual responsibilities do not always replicate what a person does. In this case, the employer should look at the work designed for the employee.
A difference in workload does not itself disqualify a like work comparison, except if the increased workload characterizes a variance in obligation or other difference of practical significance.
4. 0. 1 Job Evaluation exercise
Business organizations conduct job assessment in order to evaluate the diverse job requirements. Like jobs attract the same job ratings. This is crucial for employers in identify similar jobs that will enable them employ workers accordingly. Jobs that have slight variations are less likely to reveal material diversity in job value, according to the type of job evaluation exercise (Wiedenbeck 2010).
The process of job evaluation should not discriminate against any employee in the work place. The process need not affected by gender issues or assumption that can be made about the same or different jobs that men or women can do.
Employees also evaluate available jobs to determine the competitiveness and the kind of employees they will hire. This will enable them obtain the best staff in their departments that can be able to deliver according to the objectives of the business organization. This will also enable the employee to ascertain wage structures that they can apply to their employees.
– Equal Pay for equal value
The employer should also check if the work done by different employees are broadly similar. Again, the employer will have to scrutinize the work that individual workers do. A difference that occurs only hardly is not the same as consistent extra duties. This means that the employee will also need to look sensibly at the work involved and at the skill and knowledge necessary in performing the task. If the employers will find any variations in the kind of work done by both men and women, they will have to determine if they are substantial enough to justify a difference in pay (Stewart 2011).
The Act protects employers irrespective of their size. However, the manner in which employers performs their duties in eliminating sexual discrimination in a matter of payments according to the status of the business. Employees need to have due concern to the need to abolish favoritism and help uphold values of equality.
The provisions of equal pay relate to all contractual terms such as wages and salaries, non-discretionary bonuses, and holiday pay. These provisions also apply to sick pay, overtime, shift payments, and occupational pension benefits.
4. 2 Hayward 1988 HL
The main case here is that of Hayward v Cammell Laird Shipbuilders Ltd , case no. IRLR 257 HL. The first case dealt with the Equality clause that requires that each contractual term should not be less favourable. In this case, the House of Lords concluded that a woman doing the same kind of work whose value is the same as that of a man has the right to have not as much of complimentary contract terms that are favorable regardless of whether she is treated favorably as a man.
On equal pay claims case in Hayward v Cammell Laird Shipbuilders Limited, the House of Lords stated that a successful equal pay claimant has a right to have each different term in her contract of employment amended so that it is no less favourable than the parallel term in the contract of her comparator.
4. 2. 0 Starting pay
Employers can pay new employees differently according to the time they began working. The starting pays for new employees are slightly fewer compared to those of senior employees in the same category of workplace. In this case, an employer can justify the decision to have differential pay rates to employees and risk no prosecution (Wiedenbeck 2010).
4. 2. 1 Progression
Different employees, both men and women progress through an incremental salary scale over a parallel period. This provides an employer with another reason to pay their workers differently and in the process avoid prosecution. Employees whose work progress is slow are more likely to receive less payment in comparison to fellow workers who progress at a faster rate. This is because employees normally reward loyal, hardworking, and result-oriented workers. Such employees may hence, apply different wage rates and risk no court prosecution.
– Genuine material factor and market forces – Rainey 1987 HL
The Tribunal took into consideration a whole series of GMF defenses and rejected most of them. There were various appeals and cross appeals and the Council were contending that the decision of the Tribunal portrayed a misunderstanding, and there were procedural defects that together invalidated the decision.
Section 1(3) of the Equal Pay Act 1970 is highly material to this case. It offers a defence to an equal pay claim where the employer can demonstrate the need to have pay differences at different rates based on reasons apart from gender. In this case, the employer can apply differential pay rates without risking prosecution. According to this Act, employers must treat their employees indiscriminately just because they have close ties with an individual who has confined features (Langley 2011).
– Employee relations aspects – morale and motivation
There are sound business and lawful justification advocating for equality in workers payments. Transparent and fair systems of payments send positive messages about the values of an organization and ways of working. Equality is essential to every business because employee satisfaction is the key attribute in achieving business objectives (Riley 2005).
Fair business systems that do not discriminate anyone help the business organization attain its proficient achievement of business objectives by encouraging maximum productivity from all employees.
Employees must therefore, find out the best solutions in dealing with matters pertaining employee attraction, satisfaction, and retention. This is primarily because customer satisfaction squarely lies on the treatment by employees at the workplace.
Employee law provides for regulations that protect the welfare of employees in their workplace. These regulations are essential in promoting the basic rights of each employee and promoting good working conditions. Equality in terms of contract and working conditions equally reflected in equality of payments. This is because employees obliged by employee laws to apply equal pay rates on their employees with like work and same working contract. Like work attracts the same payment regardless of whether they are done by men or women. Employees are also required to ensure that they promote equal pay for equal value on all employees indiscriminately (Macintyre 2011).
However, employers can use differential pay rates and risk no prosecution. This can only be possible if they can justify the need to pay like work employees differently. The justification may come from job evaluation, starting of work, differences in the time of working, and the kind of tasks that employees perform in the workplace. Employers should not make pay cuts without the knowledge of their employees. This is because such moves contravene the terms of contract and workers will be free to make claims in the court of law.
Therefore, Employee law helps take care of the welfare of employees and promotes their working conditions. Equal pay boosts the morale of employees and motivates them to work even harder. This will be more beneficial to any business organization.
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