Whether you have a small team of a handful of people or you run a large company with several hundred employees, you carry obligations as an employer to your workers. Besides the obvious monetary obligations that we will still go over in this article, you have obligations to keep your employees safe and to treat them fairly and with the dignity they deserve. These obligations and responsibilities are incredibly important as failing to meet them could mean that you end up in a court on the wrong side of the law. Therefore, it’s extremely important to be aware of your local country and state laws regarding employer obligations for employees.
Pay and salary
Pay and salary are at the top of the list because it’s likely the most important aspect of work for your employees. Everyone likes to be paid for their time and your employees are no different. It’s extremely important to have a competent system in place to make sure that your employees are paid, and especially paid on time. Beyond the legal issues of failing to pay your employees for the work they do, you should be aware of the incredibly bad morale hit your company would take if employees found out they weren’t being paid on time. Employees that are grumpy from lack of pay are far less effective and far likelier to cause you trouble. Besides making sure employees are paid fully and on time, make sure you’re paying the correct amount! Your country’s laws will clearly state the minimum wage required and the amount you need to pay for overtime. Make sure you have a solid system to keep track of employee work hours. Finally, make sure to apply the correct taxes to pay and salaries if they’re necessary. Keep the salaries flowing and you’ll be a happier boss for it.
Log, log, LOG!
As a boss, you are obligated to be able to provide clear information, logs, and statements of employee earnings and the work the completed to earn those earnings. When you’re paying your employees, make sure your system clearly states what your employee is being paid for. A salary statement should clearly outline any hours worked, overtime, and other additions or deductions to the salary. Consider setting up or using a payroll system or company to manage this for you if you have trouble doing it yourself. There are many advanced technologies on the market that are designed specifically to make tracking employee work as simple as possible for you. Lastly, once you have created your log system, make sure you have adequate storage for that information. Depending on local laws, you may be required to keep such information for years before it’s safe to delete that information. Considering the importance of these records, invest in a solid backup strategy to keep all that data safe.
Make sure all of your employees are treated fairly and equally. This is gravely important. If an employee feels as though they’re being treated differently from other employees in your company, then they may have grounds to bring a lawsuit against you. This is particularly important when it comes to issues of race and gender. Make sure employees are paid equally across the board for working the same type of jobs. You should be aware as well, that you’re expected to provide fair and equal treatment not just to current employees, but also potential future employees. Make sure that your company provides equal opportunity in selecting, testing, and hiring applicants regardless of their current status.
Carefully research local laws regarding the health and safety standards that you are required to provide to your employees. This can vary dramatically between business sectors, so make sure you are up to code in your field. Employees expect a safe and healthy place to work, and you should strive to provide it as much as you can. We recommend you to consult with compensation lawyers about the most common suits they handle. Besides trying to avoid an unfortunate accident, you should try to make the workspace safe and healthy for productivity. It should be obvious, but keeping your workspace safe and healthy will help keep your workforce productive! An employee on sick leave isn’t working and isn’t producing a profit.
Ultimately, your obligation as a boss is to provide employees with a fair wage that’s on time, equal treatment without prejudice, and a safe and healthy environment to work in. Make sure to have logs of all your and your employees activities and that you’re able to justify employee-related decisions in as an empirical manner as possible. If you end up in the unfortunate situation of going to court, you want to have as much hard evidence that you provided all due diligence in fulfilling your obligations and responsibilities to your employees as possible.