When it comes to employment law, it can be tricky for both companies and workers to navigate, and many falsehoods surround what you can and cannot do. Unless a company has a good HR department that knows employment laws inside and out, they can often get confused with what is legal and what is not, and it is even worse for employees.
There is plenty of information available freely on the internet, but much of this is contradictory, making things even more confusing. Below are some of the more common employment law myths put to bed so you know where you stand, whether you are an employer or employee.
You Cannot Dismiss Genuinely Sick Employees
Some people are under the assumption that you are not legally allowed to dismiss a genuinely sick worker. However, this is not true, and an employer cannot be expected to hold a position open for someone who is off work constantly due to sickness. Even though an employee may have a valid reason for absence, it is impossible to run a business effectively when you have no idea whether your employees will be in or not. If you are experiencing a situation like this, some companies offer 24 hour HR advice for employers UK offers, for example, that you can turn to for assistance.
Employers Are Not Allowed To Give Bad References
There is also a common misconception that a previous employer cannot give you a bad reference, which is also not true. In fact, apart from a few select industries, an employer is under no obligation to provide you with a reference at all. However, if they are going to give a reference, they need to base it on facts based on evidence, and if the employer provides a false or damning work reference, they can find themselves open to legal repercussions. Many employers will only give what is known as a “Tombstone” reference, stating basic details, including position and the dates they worked for the company.
You Need Two Years’ Service For Employee Rights
There are also people out there that are under the assumption that if they have not worked for a company for two years, they have no rights, which is not strictly true. Less than two years of service for your previous employer limits you from challenging them for unfair dismissal. However, you can hold them to account for some conditions and situations, and some of these include:
- Breach Of Contract
- Holiday Pay
- Maternity Rights
- Paternity Rights
My Contract Is Void As It Is Not Signed
Some people also think that if they do not have a signed employment contract, they have no rights as an employee, which is false. In a perfect world, you will have a signed copy of your contract, and the company will also hold copies of this. However, in busy companies, these can often get overlooked and, for whatever reason, do not get signed. With an outsourced HR support UK service, or a similar service in your country, you can be sure that all that needs to get done in matters of employment are not left out.
As a worker, you still have rights, with or without a signed contract, and you can also take them to court for a verbal agreement if nothing was written down.