Taking on your first employee can be an exciting time for any business. However, there are certain things you need to do when employing staff for the first time.
We’ve put together a handy checklist to help:
- Decide how much to pay someone. The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour that almost all workers are entitled to. The National Living Wage is higher than the National Minimum Wage and workers get it if they’re over 25. The current rates can be checked via the government’s website.
- Check if someone has the legal right to work in the UK. It’s your responsibility to ensure you carry out appropriate checks. You can be penalised if you employ someone who doesn’t have the right to work and you didn’t do the correct checks, or even if you didn’t do them properly.
- Follow up on any employment references and qualification checks where these are important to the role.
- Make sure you are clear on holiday entitlement for your new member of staff. All workers are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year (which includes the 8 statutory public holidays).
- Be sure to work out hours of work in advance. Under the Working Time Regulations you cannot compel staff to work more than 48 hours a week on average – normally averaged over 17 weeks – although those aged over 18 can agree to opt to work longer hours.
- Check if you need to apply for a DBS check (formerly known as a CRB check) if you work in a field that requires one, e.g. with vulnerable people or security. Don’t simply rely on a certificate provided by the employee, as this may no longer be valid or in date.
- Ensure you have carried out any necessary risk assessments and required actions to comply with Health and Safety legislation
- Ensure you put employers’ liability insurance in place as soon as you become an employer. Your policy must cover you for at least £5 million and come from an authorised insurer. Employer’s liability insurance will help you pay compensation if an employee is injured or becomes ill because of the work they do for you. Failure to obtain appropriate insurance may result in a fine of £2500 per day that you are uninsured. You can also get advice from an insurance broker.
- Provide employees with a GDPR compliant Privacy Notice at the earliest opportunity which is often during recruitment.
- Send details of the job (including terms and conditions) in writing to your employee within 8 weeks of them starting their employment with you. You must give your employee a written statement of employment if you’re employing someone for more than 1 month.
- Register as an employer with HM Revenue and Customs. You can do this up to 4 weeks before you pay your new staff, but you must register before your first payday. Your accountant can help.
- Ensure you look into a workplace pension scheme and that qualifying staff are enrolled. Failure to auto enrol your staff may result in fines from the Pensions Regulator. Again, your Accountant can help.
This list is not exhaustive but will hopefully get you started on the right track.
If you need help with any of the points above please do not hesitate to give Louise a call, she will be happy to help with any contracts of employment. Louise can also pass on details of vivoHR who can help with recruitment and HR or other trusted suppliers who can help with insurance, pensions and accounting.