If you’re starting a business, it’s essential to make sure you comply with all the relevant laws. Here are the key things you need to know about employment law.
1. Employment Laws
Employment laws are the most important part of business law. Every business employs people, and that means there are dozens of laws and regulations that need to be followed carefully. First of all, you need to make sure you don’t discriminate in any way when hiring people. You can’t discriminate on the grounds of sex, age, religion, disability, race or sexual orientation. And you need to make sure that you pay at least the minimum wage and don’t exceed the maximum hours per week. It’s also your responsibility to protect employees from harassment and give them all the benefits they’re entitled to.
2. Privacy Laws
Nowadays, customer data and privacy is a big deal. People want to make sure that the data the business collects and stores is safe and that their privacy won’t be breached. You should research the specific privacy laws that apply to your business and the data it stores. If there’s a data leak and your customers or employees have their privacy breached, your business could land itself in hot water. You should put in place measures such as encryption and limiting access to data that reduce the risk of leaks and breaches.
3. Health and Safety Laws
As a business owner, it’s your responsibility under the law to make your workplace a safe place to work. If the workplace is not safe, people could get injured, and that’s not a good thing for anyone. They could then sue the business for not following the right health and safety regulations. You could then lose huge amounts of money in compensation. So, it’s not worth avoiding those health and safety laws. Research what the laws are and then make sure you follow them to the letter of the law.
4. Intellectual Property Laws
Intellectual property relates to anything that you create that isn’t tangible. So, that could include your business idea, your logo, your brand name and any trade secrets. You don’t want other businesses to steal these ideas from you, so you need to have them trademarked and protected under intellectual property laws. If they’re not protected, other businesses could use those ideas and designs. If you are protected, and you think someone is breaching your trademarked or patented ideas, you’ll have to get your team of lawyers on the case.
5. Environmental Laws
There are specific regulations that outline how your business has to limit its overall impact on the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency will be able to give you specific guidelines on what to do and what not to do. You have to monitor how much pollution you’re creating, and try to minimise it as much as possible. If you run a business that deals with toxic materials or chemicals, they have to be handled and disposed of in the correct and safe way as well. You could be put out of business if you don’t.