Employment Law and the Education Sector

In this article, we will discuss some of the most pressing employment law issues affecting the education sector and what schools, colleges and universities can do to address them.

In this article, we will discuss some of the most pressing employment law issues affecting the education sector and what schools, colleges and universities can do to address them.

Discrimination and Harassment

Educational institutions must ensure that all employees, regardless of their race, sex, religion, disability, age or sexual orientation, are treated fairly and equally. Training should be provided to staff on discrimination and harassment policies, including how to identify and report any incidents.

Redundancies and Change Programmes

One of the most important aspects of employment law in relation to redundancies is ensuring that the process is fair and transparent. Depending on the number of redundancies proposes, employers must follow a fair and/or a specific procedure and comply with statutory redundancy pay requirements.

Change programmes can also create employment law challenges, particularly around employment contracts and working conditions. Employers may need to make changes to employee contracts or working hours, which can lead to legal disputes if not managed appropriately.

Employee Misconduct

Misconduct can take many forms, including theft, fraud, and inappropriate conduct with students. There should be clear policies and procedures in place for dealing with employee misconduct, including reporting and investigation protocols, disciplinary measures, and termination procedures. All staff members should be aware of the expectations for professional conduct and the consequences of violating those expectations.

Trade Unions

Trade Unions are commonplace in the education sector, seeking to improve their members’ working conditions and benefits. Educational institutions must be aware of employees’ rights, including the right to take industrial action.

Staff Retention

Perceptions of a high workload make it challenging to retain talented staff, which can lead to significant problems. Policies should be implemented which address staff retention, including offering competitive salaries, creating opportunities for career development, and ensuring that staff feel valued and appreciated.

And why not start as you mean to go on? Often, standard employment contracts are legalistic, impersonal and the employment law equivalent of a pre-nup, setting out all the ways the relationship can end and the employee’s obligations after it does. Robinson Ralph and APEX HR have worked together to produce the Human Contract - an employment contract which, whilst being legally compliant, is written in a warm and welcoming way, which assures each employee that they will be treated as a person rather than just a payroll number.

Click here to read an extract and find out more.

How We Can Help

Having the support of an employment solicitor who knows your business can be invaluable if you are not sure how to deal with a specific issue. They can provide everything from a quick telephone call sanity check, ongoing helpline advice or even a structured plan of options to deal with difficult issues and minimise the risk to the business.

Don’t leave it to chance or wait until an issue arises. Investing in the right training and proper advice now could avoid irreparable damage to professional relationships and the business in the future.

Employment Law Training

To find out how we can help with employment law training, including sessions on Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion, Disciplinary and Grievance Investigations and Hearings, and Redundancy Processes (including collective), click here.

Employment Law Support and Advice

If this article has thrown up some red flags for you but you are not sure where to start, we can offer you a free 30-minute employer risk review session. In this session, we will help you to:

• identify any employment related issues you are currently experiencing, so that we can uncover any patterns and root causes, and then;
• put a plan in place to avoid them turning into costly disputes or claims.

You can book your free no obligation session here.

Send an enquiry

If you have any questions regarding the services we provide, please do not hesitate to get in touch using the form provided.

  0113 2123240
West One, Wellington Street, Leeds LS1 IBA

By ticking this box, you agree that we can store and use your data to communicate with you. We will never pass on your information to other organisations.