A comprehensive list of employment legislation in the UK


It’s good business practice to have access to a set list of employment legislation in the UK. If you can refer to that when you need it, that can save you a lot of time.

Although don’t forget that 24/7 employment law services are accessible with ease. You can call us on 0800 028 2420 for immediate assistance.

But you can also read through our guide for the basics on common employment laws you’ll have to adhere to.

What is employment law?

It regulates the relationships between you and your employees, with legislation in place that explains how staff (and your business) must behave in a working environment.

Employment law can be a complex matter for business owners to get their head around at times, leading many to ask for a ‘list of employment laws’ that they can refer back to when managing their day-to-day operations.

However, due to the sheer amount of relevant laws it would be near impossible to compile these into one succinct list, instead these laws are spread across several pieces of legislation.

List of employment laws in the UK

There’s legislation your business must consider on a daily, monthly, and annual basis. Many of these ensure the safe and productive functioning of your organisation.

But others make sure you adhere to current equality laws—they’re essential as, otherwise, you may face an employment tribunal.

The below some of the most important pieces of employment law legislation. We also offer a quick explanation of what they involve:

  • Employment Rights Act 1996: One of the most inclusive pieces of employment law legislation, covering a variety of topics such as employment contracts, unfair dismissal, family-friendly leave, and redundancy.
  • National Minimum Wage Act 1998: This creates a NWM for employees and workers across the UK. The amount can change from time to time, so it’s important to have awareness about any updates to the NMW.
  • Employment Relations Act 1999: Establishes a number of rights at work for trade union recognition, derecognition, and industrial actions.
  • The Maternity and Parental Leave etc. Regulations 1999: A statutory instrument in UK labour that that details the rights of employees for time off work for maternity or paternity leave.
  • Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000: Requires you to provide employees on part-time contracts with comparable treatment to your full-time staff.
  • Agency Workers Regulations 2010: Aims to stop discrimination against any agency workers. Such as ensuring they receive the correct amount of pay, along with the right amount of holiday days, and safe working conditions.
  • Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006: TUPE regulations ensure employee rights during a business transfer. This is a very complex process, but ensures staff receive fair treatment from a new employer who takes them on.

A number of UK payroll laws are also governed by the Employment Rights Act 1996, including an employee’s right not to suffer unauthorised deductions and rules on certain entitlements to paid time off work.

How Peninsula Business Services can help

Since 1983, Peninsula UK has provided tens of thousands of small and medium sized businesses with advice and guidance through employment law issues.

You can contact us to arrange a call back, or speak to us directly for immediate assistance on: 0800 029 4391.

Employment legislation such as the Equality Act 2010 are essential to understand and comply with.

Your business can face serious consequences in the event of a breach in current UK law—so understanding the employment legislation, or receiving advice about it, is a daily part of running a business.

It can also help you to maintain a productive and positive working environment, where all members of staff receive fair treatment.

Other important legislation

There are also several other pieces of UK legislation that, although not solely related to employment law, contain key employment law information. These are:

  • Equality Act 2010: This forms the basis of anti-discrimination laws in the UK. It’s essential your business follows these to treat employees fairly—understanding the nine protected characteristics is the first step:
    • Gender reassignment.
    • Marriage and civil partnership.
    • Pregnancy and civil partnership.
    • Religion or belief.
    • Sexual orientation.
  • Bribery Act 2010: Covers the criminal law relating to any act of bribery. It’s a serious issue in any working environment requires vigilance to avoid.
  • Data Protection Act 2018: A national law complementing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 1998. It regulates how your business stores employee and customer information.
  • Working Time Regulations 1998: Generally considered to be a piece of health & safety legislation first and foremost, however it contains important rules that employers ought to follow.

This includes the right to a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave each year and the 48-hour average working week restriction.

It is also essential that employers follow the obligations listed under the Equality Act 2010 as relates to discrimination at work.

This legislation protects employees from suffering unfavourable treatment on account nine protected characteristics, including age, race and sexual orientation.

When it comes to employment rules, UK businesses ought to have a good understanding of their obligations in order to avoid tribunal claims.

After all, businesses who fail to abide by the laws listed within various pieces of legislation run the risk of facing claims from their employees at an employment tribunal.

Need our help?

Get in touch for immediate assistance with any employment law, HR, or health & safety issue: 0800 028 2420.

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