Legislation has an important impact on terms and conditions of employment; this is because legislation implies certain minimum requirements into the employment relationship in addition to what is agreed between the parties themselves. The fundamental starting point when considering the legal relationship between employer and employee is always the contract itself, however the relevant legislation must always be considered as well.
The main piece of legislation which governs many terms and conditions of employment is the Employment Rights Act 1996.
A wide range of other legislation which has an impact on what can be incorporated into the terms and conditions of employment includes:
- Equality Act 2010 (especially the equal pay provisions)
- National Minimum Wage Act 1998
- Pensions Schemes Act 1993
- Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1833)
- Employment Act 2002
- Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 (SI 2004/3426).
Legislation dealing with zero hours contracts can be found in:
- The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 which introduced the legal definition of zero hours contracts and inserts new provisions into the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) dealing with exclusivity issues.
- The Exclusivity Terms in Zero Hours Contracts (Redress) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/2021) which came into force on 11 January 2016 and provide the remedies for zero hours workers against employers who include exclusivity clauses in their contracts of employment.
- The Employment Tribunals Act 1996 (Application of Conciliation Provisions) Order 2015 (SI 2015/2054) which also came into force on 11 January 2016 and extends the time limit for bringing a claim where this is necessary to facilitate Acas early conciliation.