Beginner’s Guide to Employment Law

Employment law is a field of law that is specific to a work environment. Work cultures are hectic and demanding. Both employers and employees have to work in their industries knowing their rights. But knowing about them is not enough, they should be aware of how to utilize them in case they sense some difficulties arising in their workplace.

These laws are decided by the federal and state government of the countries. Employment laws or labor laws originated differently in different parts of the world. Some early influences can even be found in the medieval world. However, it was in the 18th century Industrial Revolution when labor laws were brought into practice.

Today, many businesses have implemented these laws to establish an ideal organization.

In this article, we have discussed the importance of such laws and how they impact a business.

What is Employment Law?

Employment law is a broad concept. It is the law that regulates the relationship between an employer and an employee. This law changes frequently because employees are always at the forefront of changes that take place in society. Every state and country has laws specific to their work ethics and situations.

It is also known as the labour law in many parts of the world. As an employment lawyer, it is your duty to protect your client, i.e., an employee, from being subjected to an unethical work environment.

The law assures the employees that they get treated fairly at their jobs and that they are safe. These laws also serve the interests of employers. For instance, if an employee has made false accusations against their employers, the employment lawyer would find out the basis of those accusations and present evidence if they are actually true or not.

An employment lawyer’s skills and responsibilities require them to be empathic. Being an empathic person, you should be able to relate to your clients, as many of them have to deal with situations that are too stressful and personal for them. You are required to draft letters, and litigations, and analyse legal documents. Your research skills should be excellent because even small details could have a huge impact on a case.

As mentioned earlier, it is a broad concept, there are different types of employment laws. They include:

  • Equal Pay
  • Minimum Wage
  • Holiday Pay
  • Whistleblowing
  • Health and Safety
  • Family and Medical Leave
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Employee Benefits
  • Labour Relations
  • Parental Leave
  • Discrimination based on gender, age, race, etc.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Employment Law

When you become an employment lawyer, you will face a world that never stops. Problems keep coming, they never disappear. That might excite you to find solutions to these problems, but there may be some obstacles in this field of law.

Here are the advantages of employment law.

  • New challenges: No two cases will be the same. You will always find something different about them. This means that every project that you take on and become a part of, will bring you something new. The challenges never cease to amaze you.
  • Learning and growing: Even if you are a trainee in a law firm, you will be given the duty to work with clients. There are many opportunities in this field that will help you grow as a person and as an employment lawyer.
  • Skill development: This field is huge, you work with people from different walks of life. This means that you will have to work on your people’s skills. There is no need for you to be a people pleaser. But you should be able to help people in finding the best and easy solutions.
  • Social connections: When you interact and work together with so many people, you’ll eventually form social connections. Through this work, you will always find an interesting and unique story connected to these people.

Here are the disadvantages of employment law.

  • Handling crisis: Because each case is a person to the client, be it an employee or an employer, they can have emotional reactions to it. People can lash out, and in extreme cases, they can even become violent. An employment lawyer has to mediate such a crisis.
  • Hard to catch up: Since the laws are changing with the changes in work cultures, it might become difficult to catch up with everything at once.

Importance of Employment Law

Employment law is important for several reasons. Many aspects of a work situation are governed according to these laws. There are certain rules that both the employer and the employee have to follow. Any successful business needs that the employer and the employee have a mutual understanding between them. These employment laws are how people create this understanding between them. 

  • Improving the employer-employee relationship: The employers provide their employees with documents like the offer letter and the employment agreement. These documents help the employees to understand the demands of the job, and what their responsibilities would be once they get the job. Besides this, the employer gives growth opportunities to future or current employees.
  • Ensuring the health and safety of workers: Such laws promise the employees that their physical and mental health is a priority. Furthermore, their workplace is safe for them to perform the duties they have.
  • Treating the employees as equals: All the employees get treated as equals. The duties and responsibilities are given to the employees based on their skill sets. All that matters and all that should matter to an employer is the quality of work an employee does.
  • Parental rights: When an employee becomes a parent, they can ask their employers for their parental rights. These rights include maternity and paternity pay. With the payment, they should be allowed to have a period of leave.
  • Work permits: Employment law states that employers in any sector or industry should thoroughly check the rights of working of an employee. Especially in the case of international employees. If an individual from another country does not have a permit to work in your country, then they should not get hired.

Impact of Employment Law on Business

Employment laws impact all kinds of businesses. Doesn’t matter if a business is big or small. The CEOs of all business organizations have to abide by these laws to make their workplace safe. Moreover, to attract job seekers to come and work for them.

These are the various ways through which employment law can affect a business. 

  • Recruitment process: Businesses should have a fair requirement process. All the employees should go through the same process. The process may prepare the employees for what the job would require them to do. The employer must highlight all the terms and conditions of the workplace.
  • Payment details: When the employees go through the recruitment process, the employers should discuss the payment with them.
  • No Discrimination: A business should avoid discrimination on any basis. Employment laws have laid down the rules that businesses need to follow. In general, these rules outline that an employee can’t get discriminated against because of their skin colour, gender identity, the language they speak, religious beliefs, etc.
  • Working conditions: Businesses should have safe working conditions. Safety here means physical safety and mental safety. Employees shouldn’t feel burdened or threatened by other colleagues or supervisors. Their concerns should be addressed.

Why Should I Take Employment Law Advice?

You can’t run a business when you don’t know how to deal with the changing situations at the workplace. You, and your employees, both have their needs that have to be met. This is where employment law comes in. Such laws aim at balancing the relationships between you and your employees. Employment lawyers provide you with honest advice, including: 

  • Save yourself some time: When you run into legal trouble at the workplace, the first person that should come into your mind is an employment lawyer. Finding solutions to these problems through other means would cost you time and even money. Employment lawyers can address your worries and solve them without wasting your precious time.
  • Face no judgment: When you present your case to an employment lawyer, they will advise you to take the easiest way out. Easy may mean something that won’t stress you out too much. But if you want to move ahead with the case, they will fully support you in that decision without any judgments.
  • Helpful tips: The whole world might give you a piece of their mind in your legal situation. While many of these people mean well and want to help you out, it is only a professional who would give the best tips to you. It is an employment lawyer who has studied similar cases to yours, so their knowledge is what will get you out of your messy situation.
  • Keep you stress-free: Conflicts at the workplace are stressful. You become the main topic of conversation among fellow employees. During these times, putting your trust in an employment lawyer would help you out. By cooperating with an employment lawyer, you can find useful solutions and keep your stress away.

The Best Employment Lawyers in NZ

Here is a list of the best employment lawyers in New Zealand. 

  • Holland Beckett: Holland Beckett is a law firm established in New Zealand. The law firm provides legal services in different areas including employment law, asset protection, commercial law, property law, estate planning and administration, and more. The Holland Beckett team comprises more than 50 employees. The firm provides its services throughout the area of the Bay of Plenty.
  • Buddle Findlay: Buddle Findlay is one of the top-tier law firms in New Zealand. The law firm provides legal solutions in the corporate and public sectors. Their clientele is not limited to New Zealand, they have many international clients too.
  • Bell Gully: Bell Gully is one of the oldest law firms in New Zealand. Their legal departments include corporate, litigation, real estate, banking, and finance. They are essentially commercial law firms. They have also maintained good international relations with clients outside of New Zealand.
  • MinterEllisonRuddWatts: MinterEllisonRuddWatts is an employment law firm based in New Zealand that practices commercial and corporate law. They have worked alongside many industrial sectors including infrastructure, government, health, banking, technology, and financial services.
  • Wilkinson Rodgers Lawyers: Wilkinson Rodgers Lawyers is a law firm that practices employment law and represents clients from different sectors. They have successfully provided legal advice to corporate clients, home buyers, farmers, and start-up businesses.

The Takeaway

The relationship that an employer has with their employee is a professional relationship. When you want to set up a successful business practice, you need to ensure that the success starts within your workplace. If a workplace is unethical and employees do not feel safe working there anymore, the business can’t grow. That is why many businesses and other industry sectors abide by employment law.

These laws promise the worker and the employer safe work practices. The law protects employees against many things. If a person is facing any kind of discrimination, payment issues, harassment, or any other issues at the workplace, they can take that issue up with the legal department.

As an employment lawyer, there are many merits and demerits you will face at your job. There will always be a new challenge to work with. But soon, these challenges can feel overwhelming. It is in these situations that these employment lawyers should look at the promising aspects of their job.

Asking an employment lawyer’s advice would save you money and time. They understand how stressful the case is for you, so they do their best to make it less stressful for you. You may think that you can’t do anything in that situation, but that is what employment lawyers are for. They will make you see the solutions you never noticed were there.

Employment lawyers provide fruitful solutions to both parties. Many of these cases arise out of misunderstandings, the lawyers communicate with the employer and the employees to settle those.

Beginners Guide to Employment Law

Featured Image Credits: Unsplash

About the Author

Shristi Patni

Shristi Patni

Content Writer

Shristi is a content writer and owner of F and B Recipes and Snazzy Women. When not writing, she can be found reading or trying new recipes.

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