What obligations/duties does the employer owe to the employee?

1. Duty to pay the employee the agreed amount if the employee arrives for work and can work. 

2. Provide the employee with work to do, (this is limited). However, for example, if the employee is paid by commission and the employer does not give the employee any work or if not working could damage the employee's reputation, for example, if you are a senior executive in a company. Then the employer may have broken their duty to the employee. 

3. Observe Health & Safety Regulations. 

4. Give employees correct information about rights under their contract. 

5. Give employees reasonable opportunity to have their complaints looked at. 

6. There is no duty to provide references to an employee, (except where the reference is required by the Financial Conduct Authority). However, if a reference is provided by the employer, the employer owes a duty to the employee to make sure the reference is completed with reasonable skill and care and is true, accurate and fair. The employer also owes a duty to the receiver of the reference not to make any negligent statements about the employee. 

7. The employer must provide a contract of employment within two months of commencement; many think that this can wait until after probation is completed (or otherwise) but the statutory requirement is to provide this within two months.

8. The employer and employee also owe each other a duty of "Mutual Trust & Confidence", basically they must show respect for each other. 

Examples of breaches: 

  • Harassing or victimising employees, particularly in front of other employees who are less senior than the victim. 
  • Physical violence by the employer or employee. 
  • Theft by employee. 
  • There is no duty to pay Contractual Sick Pay. 
  • There is an obligation on an employer to pay statutory sick pay for the first 28 weeks an employee is absent due to sickness in any period of 3 years. If an employee is eligible. 
  • Employees entitled to at least four weeks holiday in any one year period.

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