Employer and Employee Responsibilities FAQs & Resources

As a leading provider of Health and Safety eLearning, our experts are often asked about employer and employee responsibilities. We've collected all of those questions and answered them for you below...

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General Employer and Employee Responsibilities FAQs

What responsibilities do employers have in the workplace?

Without employees a business could not function properly, and as part of having a workforce an employer has specific legal responsibilities as well as best practices to follow. 

Employer responsibilities include:

  • Fair recruitment and selection processes
  • Supplying a written statement of employment particulars (on the first day of employment & a wider written statement must be provided within 2 months)
  • Fair pay / adhere to minimum wage entitlements (including holiday pay)
  • Provision of a detailed payslip (including deductions)
  • Following working time regulations
  • Auto-enrolment into pension schemes (if applicable) 
  • Fair and equal treatment of workers
  • Fair dismissal processes
  • Considering flexible working requests
  • Providing rest breaks during the working day
  • Protecting the Health & Safety of their employees, including their mental health and wellbeing
  • Providing a suitable work environment

While the following are not legally required, employers should consider wider benefits and rewards for employees (such as additional holiday, bonus schemes, Employee Assistance Programmes, team events etc.) as well as personal development opportunities. It’s also important that managers provide feedback and recognition of success. Ensuring employees feel happy, appropriately rewarded, and valued will in turn help attract and retain the best talent for your organisation. 

What responsibilities do employees have in the workplace?

When an employee accepts a job role there is an expectation that they will represent the company in a responsible manner, perform the job role to the required standard, be punctual or communicate with their manager if they are unwell or going to be late, as well as treat everyone respectfully.

An employer is primarily responsible for ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of all employees, however staff have a duty of care towards their own health and safety, as well as anyone else who could be affected by their actions. 

Employee cooperation is important, particularly when it comes to undergoing mandatory training, using equipment correctly and following any set procedures. 

Employees are also required to report any injuries or potential risks in the workplace. This will help create a safety culture, especially if employees feel confident to raise any concerns. 

Can an employee refuse to complete a new task?

Employers are not necessarily going to be able to list every task in an employee's job description, particularly where technology changes and as a result, new processes evolve. If the new task is reasonable then employees have a duty to complete it. An employer should meet with the employee to determine why they do not want to complete the task. It could be that additional training is required or that there is a legitimate health and safety concern. If this is the case then steps can be put into place to support the new requirement, however, if the employee has no justifiable reason disciplinary action may be taken. However, there are some instances where an employee can refuse to complete a new task, such as it isn’t connected to their job role or it is not in keeping with their pay grade.

What is employee relations and why is it important?

Employee relations refers to the relationship between an employer and their employees. In many cases this refers to the individual relationship between a manager and their team member/s, as they will be responsible for monitoring performance, resolving conflict, and supporting them on a daily basis. How this is handled will form the basis of the relationship.

Building and maintaining positive employee relations is key to running a successful business. Where the relationship between staff members and managers/owners is strong, employees will be more inclined to work hard and be loyal, and this will ultimately create more productive employees.

Why is employee engagement important?

Employee engagement is about ensuring your employees feel valued, they buy into your company vision and goals as well as recognise that their career aspirations and wellbeing are taken into consideration. Engaged employees are less likely to leave, and the work they complete will be of a higher standard, which helps lead to a more successful and profitable business.  

How can I maximise staff performance?

Building strong relationships between employers and employees is the best way to ensure that communication is open and honest. On top of meeting legal employer requirements and setting expectations, it is also important to manage staff performance. This can help support underperforming staff, as well as provide development and learning opportunities for the whole team, which will benefit the individuals and the business. 

Regular staff appraisals, quarterly performance reviews, and one-to-ones can help managers effectively communicate with team members and set realistic goals. It also provides an opportunity for employees to discuss any concerns they have or any desires to take on new responsibilities.

Sometimes it is necessary to take disciplinary action if an employee isn't responding to feedback about their performance. You can find a guide on how to handle a disciplinary on our HR Compliance FAQ & resources page.

How does online workplace training benefit employers and employees?

Employers who invest in online workplace training for their staff are showing a commitment to all employees that they value them and want to create an informed workforce. In return employees receive relevant, quality training which is engaging and supports them in their role. 

Workplace training is about more than just meeting legal requirements, it provides employers with an opportunity to prove to their employees that they value them and prioritise learning. Many employees want an employer who puts them first, and this will help create a positive workplace culture.

FAQs regarding our workplace training courses

What legislation applies to these courses?

There is various legislation that applies to our Health & Safety, HR, and Compliance courses. Please visit our course pages for more information. 

What approvals do these courses have?

These courses have a variety of approvals and accreditations, these range from CPD Accreditation, RoSPA Approval, IATP Approval, IIRSM Approval & IOSH Approval.

Why are these training courses important?

In some cases, providing staff with training is a legal requirement. eLearning is an effective way to provide training to all employees, as it can be completed at their convenience and ensure they have the relevant knowledge and information relevant to their role to keep them safe, happy, and productive at work. 

How long are my certificates valid for?

It is up to the training administrator of the employee as to when training needs to be refreshed. However, to stay up-to-date with legislation, we recommend that training should be renewed every year.​

What devices are these courses available from?

Our courses can be completed on a range of devices, they’re compatible with desktops, laptops, smartphones, iPads, and other tablets.

Documents and resources

Get employees up-to-speed with their EDI responsibilities in the workplace

This guide looks at equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace and covers relevant areas for employees...

  • Understand why promoting EDI at work is important
  • Use our checklists to see where you stand when it comes to promoting EDI
  • Understand your responsibilities under The Equality Act 2010
  • Understand the difference between Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion

An employee’s bitesized guide to equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace

Additional resources

Your essential New Year checklist

HR and Health & Safety are the foundations of your business and the most important measures to start ticking off your 2022 to-do list.

Along with the experts at Citation we've pulled together essential HR and Health & Safety pointers to help you get a handle on your compliance requirements.

Made in Partnership with Citation

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