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The importance of employment law for tech startups

One need look no further than Uber to see how, if not handled correctly, employment law can trip up even the most successful of tech companies. It is important to remember, however, that employment laws are in place to protect the employer as well as the employee and so a conscientious approach to working with the law will mean both parties are protected and happy.

In this article we examine the basic principles of how to apply employment law to the agile arena that is the tech industry.

Employment policies

Many tech companies, particularly startups, overlook the need for employment policies and this can be detrimental to the performance of the employee, their welbeing and therefore the success of the company.

Having clear policies regarding issues such as equal opportunities and harassment are essential and could save the company a lot of time and expense further down the line. Employees who feel well looked after are far more likely to perform well and reach their full potential.

Restrictive covenants

It is often the case that successful tech companies are looking for and working on new ideas and technology. Protecting the information associated with these type of projects is paramount to the profitability of the company and so dictates a robust set of restrictive covenants written into employee’s contacts.

The covenants need to stop employees from leaking or sharing sensitive information with anyone outside of the company – intellectual property for example. It is important that these clauses remain active even after the employee has left the company – this prevents them from taking the information to a rival who may be able to use it to their advantage.

Protecting sensitive information requires a belt and braces approach. Security protocols such as penetration testing should be carried out regularly so the IT system is safe and can’t be breached from within or outside of the company without authorisation.

Disciplinary procedures

Tech companies are often populated by a young workforce, who are highly skilled and therefore well remunerated for their efforts. Young people in such positions can also be risk takers or a little over exuberant.

In order to channel this energy, having policies that set out what is and is not acceptable is in the workplace can help. These along with finite disciplinary procedures are a good firewall that can protect both the employee and the company.   

Employment law, implemented in a transparent and equitable manner are the bedrock of a company’s activities and as such must be considered a priority from the outset.

Photograph by Free-Photos

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