Recruiting your first worker is a huge move for you and your business. It means that you are planning to hand over certain responsibilities of running your business over to someone new. But that the same time, you also should be aware of your duties and obligations as the employer towards your employee. In views of this, below are things you should consider when hiring your first staff member.
1. Do background checks on the Applicant
Once you find a candidate the desire to hold the advertised position in your company, you should check and confirm a few things that qualify them for the work. First, verify that the person has the right to work in the United Kingdom and then find out if they have any qualification that makes then fit for the advertised job. Also, inquire and confirm their criminal record.
2. Provide a statement of employment
You should hand the new staff member a written statement of employment if they are to work for more than a month. It is a document that stipulates the terms of conditions of employment and should be handed to the employee within two months after they begin work.
3. Give a contract of employment
You must provide the new worker with an employment contract in which you specify the employee’s roles eg. sales jobs, marketing jobs, admin jobs etc., responsibilities, rights, and working conditions. Ensure that the employee signs the document, which does not have to be written formally. However, it should clearly state the implied and explicit terms of employment.
4. Make sure your business is adequately insured
Insurance may in some situation not be a legal requirement. It is meant to safeguard the interests of both the employer and employees regarding injuries that may happen in the workplace. You may not consider being insured if you do not have any workers. However, the Employers’ Liability Act 1969 states that you must take out adequate, compulsory insurance cover for your workers.
5. Register as an employer with HMRC
As an employer, you are required to register with the HMRC within a month of hiring your first member of staff. You are expected to pay wages to your work and deduct any income tax (PAYE) as well as National Insurance Contributions from the employee’s salary.
6. Pay your workers
You should provide a payslip to your employees when you hand them their salaries. The payslip should detail their gross and net pay and their deductions (PAYE, NIC and pension contributions). Keep in mind that you are also expected to comply with the National Minimum Wage. As of 2013 when the RTI (Real Time Information) implemented, employers are required to submit payroll information to the HMRC after they pay their workers. Previously, this data was to be submitted at the end of each tax year.
7. Honour your health and safety obligations
The law stipulated that you, as the employer, are mandated with the responsibility of ensuring that your staff works in a safe and secure environment. You are required to have a formal Health & Safety policy written if you have five or more workers and it should be written after assessing the risk your employee face at work.
8. Pension auto-enrolment
New legislation was passed that expects employers to enroll their workers, who are 22 years and over, into a workplace pension scheme, and if these employees earn more than £9,440. The implementation of this rule to full effect as of 2018.
9. Be aware of the holiday, maternity/paternity, sick pay rules
The law grants employees the right to take some time off work, either due to health reasons, forced periods of absence or holiday leaves. You should ensure that your new employee knows of this and the schedules of such reserves.
10. What happens if things don’t work out?
One of the complicated areas of the employment legislation is the one that addresses matters on what happens when a worker made redundant. The dismissal of such an employee should be done fairly to avoid any notion of breach of contract on your side, or the employee feeling unhappy and deciding to file a case with the employment tribunal against your company. The employment tribunal will look into issues such as the circumstances the lead to the dismissal, any evidence of bias or discrimination, and possible disagreements over pay.