Every company has laws to follow. But first, you must learn what they are. Employee obligations, for example, are a grey subject for many people.

We’d like to resolve some of the most common questions we’ve heard around compliance, legality and employee rights. Staff planning software can aid many of those responsibilities. So let’s examine them…

‘Are time sheets a legal requirement?’ – No, but they are recommended

Technically, you do not have to keep a time sheet for each worker – but company policy can vary. Take contractors: they may ask for an official time sheet, signed by themselves and the employer, to ensure they’re being paid for the right number of hours. Verbal and unsigned claims can be just as valid.

We do recommend you have time sheet software, however, to ensure there aren’t any disputes. It’s for both parties’ peace of mind. In this way, time sheets are necessary, but only as a term of contract.

‘What about pay records?’ – Yes

You are required to submit official payroll documents each month, or whenever the employee is paid.

What’s included? Primarily, a payslip must state the gross pay, as well as earnings and deductions made for overtime, sickness, bonuses, or additional-rate hours. Tax and National Insurance need to be in there too. These are figures you have to state, by law. Time sheet software can track sick days, extra work or other factors that may change the ‘typical’ wage someone is expecting.

Other, less common pay data includes the tax code and NI number themselves, the rate-per-hour, and tips for hospitality workers.

‘Do I have to follow security procedure for employee data?’ – Yes, if sensitive

‘Sensitive’ is a categorisation of employee data that includes their:

If you hold anything of this nature, protect it at all costs. Use encryption and trustworthy software for firewalls, malware and remote hacks. To help prevent a data breach, build a security policy that everyone can access when they wish to. With GDPR enshrined in the UK’s Data Protection Act, you’ll have to prove that every measure is set up to avoid an incident.

‘Must I provide Statutory Sick Pay?’ – Yes, with conditions

As we’ve demonstrated, time sheets are a critical tool, even if they’re not necessarily a legal requirement. But they can become so when a worker takes more than four consecutive days off due to illness. They’re liable for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), which currently stands at £92.05 a week. Once the employee exceeds 28 weeks off in a single year, they will no longer receive SSP.

For that reason, we urge you towards staff planning software – the best means to track who’s on or off the job. Precision is everything if you want to follow the law but avoid paying for someone who’s SSP-exempt.

Our Liquid Time platform is perfect for doing so. It schedules when shifts start and end for users, set to automated patterns. Staff have a continuing record of extra hours, absenteeism, and holiday requests. Sign up today – it’ll save any second guesses you may have, every day, whatever your business.

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