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On the Coalface: Employment Law in Practice

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On the Coalface: Employment Law in Practice

All too often my subject is given a bad name. Whilst I appreciate that to some extent employment law can and does impose restrictions on SME businesses, I passionately disagree with any suggestion that employment law is the Devil incarnate (a slight exaggeration perhaps, but you get my point). If understood correctly and utilised in the right way, the choppy seas of employment law can be navigated smoothly and successfully with the employer chiefly at the helm.
Employment law is a political hot potato and it gets bounced around constantly by the media which delivers confusing and sometimes incorrect messages. Governments add to this confusion by cleverly moulding employment law and referring to the same in order to fit with their current political agenda and message. Anyone remember the recent declaration by the Labour party that they would seek to introduce an extra four bank holidays a year? This is all very well and good (and sounds quite exciting, right?) but some media reports omitted to report on the fact that any additional bank holidays would probably in reality have to be covered by an employee’s already existing entitlement to annual leave. Following proper consideration, the prospect sounds significantly less exciting now given that if this were indeed the case it would simply give employees even less chance to choose when to take their holidays.
I have decided to start this blog in order to try not only to debunk some of those myths about employment law which are commonplace but also to try explain the subject in a way which is easy to understand through recalling and commenting on real life situations which I have encountered and from which I think that SME businesses can learn a lot from: situations that you could say come straight from the (ahem) coalface.
by Charlotte Geesin LL.B (Hons) LLM
Head of Howarths Employment Law Department

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