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Law Issues Faced By Web Developers
Are you a web developer? If yes, you should be aware of the existing legal requirements for web developers in your city or country. Your knowledge of the law regarding web development will help you carry out your duties professionally and earn trust from your clients.
The question is, what type of licenses should you obtain before you start your web developing business? You don’t need any specific license to work on your web designing projects. This is also true if any of your business activities fall within the services offered by web development. You may also not require anything further concerning licenses to design websites.
But you need to register yourself as a data user at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) just in case an exemption does not yet cover you. This is always the option you can take if you are sure about handling or keeping computerized information with certain individuals’ personal details.
For instance, you should register with the ICO if you are indenting to handle sensitive information from your clients when providing them with web marketing services. On top of that, you may have to pay a registration fee before you start offering your web development services to your customers. Here are key factors about the law issues you are likely to face when you start developing websites.
Copyright Legislation Issues
Copyright legislation is one of the most important things to consider if you want to run your business without legal issues. As a web designer, you need to be fully aware of this fact. Also, you should know the two significant aspects of what copyright protection entails:
- Copyright protection against unauthorized use of your programming code and designs.
2. Protection against the infringement of other web developers’ copyright, such as third-party software, graphics, and images obtained without permission.
To avoid legal situations, make sure your clients, the owner of intellectual property (IP) rights, are aware of the implications of copyright legislation. Therefore, you should put this matter in a written agreement contract between you and the clients before starting the project.
On the other hand, ensure that the type of software you use in your project is legitimate. The same software must be properly licensed for your business. Bear in mind that it is against the law to use unauthorized or ‘pirated’ copies of commercial software since this is regarded as software piracy.
In the UK, copyright legislation is under the Copyright, Design, and Patent Act. As such, you should reach out to a qualified legal professional to help you with drafting import contracts about your web development business.
Website Design Issues
Certain laws are in place for all websites to comply with. However, the requirements apply mainly to the owner of the website. In this case, the owner could be your client and not you, so you need to advise your clients on what they should include in their websites to comply with the law.
Check out these key website legislations for your web development project:
- Copyright laws for background music used on websites;
- Regulations about E-commerce to cover how different businesses trade online.
Fair Trading Issues
When it comes to fair trading, you need to apply fairness and honesty. This is important when dealing with different clients, private individuals, or businesses. To achieve this goal, you have to comply with rules and regulations that dictate how to operate your business honestly and fairly. Trading Standard Business Companion site provides additional information about fair trading legislation that includes business-to-business marketing.
Pay Attention to Workplace Health and Safety Issues
You should also take into account the legislation about workplace health and safety, including fire safety legislation. You can implement this legislation in several ways. For example, you can use display screen equipment to communicate vital information about workplace health and safety regulations to your employees or clients.
These regulations are important to your employees who particularly spend more hours working on their computers. As a good employer, you need to assess potential risks in your business, especially among those sitting long hours on display screen equipment. Should you identify antsy risks, find a quick solution to make your workplace safe for everyone.
Employment Legislation Issues
If you plan to hire employees for your company or business, you must consider or comply with all necessary employment legislation. Employment lawyers will help you understand better all available employment legislation. Some of the most important areas of legislation that you should consider include:
Law Issues Faced By Web Developers: Recruitment and employment contracts
You should establish an effective and successful employment process that follows the employment laws. Therefore, you need to prepare clearly written employment contracts for your newly recruited employees. These contracts will have a great impact on your web development business.
Pay and Pensions plan
As an employer, you should know the existing obligations you must fulfill regarding wages, salaries, and equal pay regulations. Also, you need to be aware of the existing or new pension auto-enrolment changes that affect your line of business.
Working hours and leave
You should clearly set flexible working hours that are favorable to your employees. At the same time, you should consider each worker’s leave days and holidays.
Proper employment policies
Apply the right policies to your employees at all times. This is one of the essential policies for an effective staff management process. Every policy should be clear, easy to understand, and well-communicated to your staff.
Sickness and sick pay
Every sick employee deserves fair treatment from you and other staff. However, make sure that the sickness is not a cover-up for unauthorized absenteeism from work.
Maternity/paternity and adoption
Expectant employees deserve maternity leave as well as maternity pay. Fathers also are entitled to the same privilege from their employers.
Law Issues Faced By Web Developers: Discrimination
Any form of discrimination at the workplace can cause some grievances. Familiarize yourself with the Equality Act 2010 on employee discrimination.
Managing remote or lone workers
Remote and lone workers are now a commonplace key issue. Since communication and close management could be a major problem, make sure to motivate your remote working team most of the time.
Discipline and grievance
You should follow the right procedure when addressing employees’ disciplinary and grievances problems.
Dismissals and redundancies
Also, you need to follow the right dismissal or redundancy procedures to protect your web development business. Not to mention avoiding legal dispute at the employment tribunals.
Law Issues Faced By Web Developers: Employment tribunals
Most employers try as much as possible to avoid tribunal cases. It would help if you also did the same when it comes to your employers.
Best Insurance Policies for a Web Developer
An insurance cover is essential for your business to run smoothly. Look for a reputable insurer and discuss how your web developing business will operate. Most likely, the insurer will recommend the most appropriate cover for your business.
The insurance may include:
- Public and employer’s liability
- Equipment cover
- Business interruption
- Contract and professional indemnity
- Personal cover
- Data loss and hard drive failure
- Motor insurance for your business vehicle
If you are a UK Web Design Association (UKWDA) member, you will likely enjoy discounted rates on your web development business insurance cover from the designated partner insurer. Visit the UKWDA website to find out more about membership benefits.