Hiring? Avoid These Legal Pitfalls

It’s exciting to be able to hire new people into your business. That expansion just shows your growth and that growth is going to allow you to do better in future. Gaining a clear understanding of what’s legal and what’s expected of you as an employer when it comes to hiring people, however, can be very murky waters to try and navigate.

You don’t want to fall into any illegal pitfalls and of course, if you have an inhouse legal team, then an employment lawyer can look over your hiring and help you to make sure that you are advertising correctly. There are some dangers that you should be avoiding when it comes to hiring new people, and we’ve put together these legal pitfalls to help you to avoid it.

1. Avoid adding any restraint clauses. These types of clauses in an employment agreement often apply when a company wants to protect their interest. But you should avoid any general restraints on the competition, because these are unenforceable and unreasonable. You shouldn’t want to stop anybody earning a living. Restraints are only enforceable where they are reasonable, so don’t be too narrow with.

2. Don’t rely on contractors. Well, you can absolutely rely on contractors for your business, but not when it comes to avoiding your obligations as an employer. There are many reasons where it makes sense for the business to engage a contractor, but if you’re engaging one just to avoid admin costs and obligations associated with employment, that’s icky. The lesson here is to make sure that you are erring on the safe side by engaging employees directly.

3. Try not to make casual employees permanent employees. This can be quite a tricky one to navigate. If you are looking for a genuine casual employment relationship with fluctuating hours depending on a roster, you’re not going to break the law. But if the relationship has a much stronger level of commitment or is intended to be long term, then you might be eager to convert people into full time to avoid any legal risks.

4. Choosing internships over employment. Genuine internships can be run through education providers, but otherwise you need to be paying your employees a fair wage. If a business obtains a benefit from a worker, it should be paying for that benefit.

5. Your processes are inconsistent. You need to make sure that you are avoiding employment law claims and these are often increased when there are inaccurate or inadequate records. You need to have properly recorded processes and that’s important for your business to be maintained. If an employer has a strong anti bullying policy for example, then making sure that you are adhering to your own policies is important.

These are common HR pitfalls, but you don’t have to fall into these traps. Making sure that you have a good legal mind on hand to help you and explain these things to you before you start hiring is super important. This can make all the difference to your business.


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