Clear workplace policies and procedures help organisations to be productive, efficient and maintain high levels of staff morale. Ensuring that everyone knows how and why things are done is a key component in establishing best employment practice.
Employers must provide a contract of employment which sets out the terms and conditions of employment.
Both employers and employees have certain rights and responsibilities towards each other. Some will apply to everyone in the workplace, while others will be dependent on the individual’s working status.
Employees and workers are entitled to various types of leave depending on their circumstances and the length of time they have been employed.
When employment contracts end through resignation, retirement, dismissal or redundancy, there are rights and responsibilities for both the employer and employee.
The Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992 defines a trade union as “an organisation (whether permanent or temporary) which … consists wholly or mainly of workers of one or more descriptions and is an organisation whose principal purposes include the regulation of relations between workers … and employers or employers’ associations.
When there is an issue in the workplace, employers and employees have a number of options and steps they can take to resolve it, ranging from informal conversations to formal processes and procedures.
There are various other types of leave including: garden leave; time off for public duties; and study / training leave.
Most workers - whether part-time or full-time - are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks' paid annual leave. Employers can set the times of the year that leave needs to be taken and workers must give the employer notice when they want to take leave.
Pregnant employees are entitled to up to one year’s maternity leave. Paternity leave is available if certain criteria are met. Parents are also entitled to 18 weeks’ unpaid leave for each child up to their 18th birthday.