The challenges of hiring your first employee shouldn’t be underestimated. You will be handing over some of your business responsibilities to a new person, especially if taking on staff for marketing manager roles and other senior positions, but you also need to take over the role of an employer. Here are the first things to consider when hiring your first employee.
1. Do the Interviews
Once you have shortlisted a potential candidate, you need to do the proper interviews to confirm that he/she can actually work for you. For instance, does the candidate have the right to work in the UK? Has he/she passed all the necessary checks appropriate to the position? You can do a criminal record check (DBS Check) especially if you are working with children in any capacity.
2. Provide a Statement of Employment
Anyone who will be working at your establishment for at least a month should receive a written statement of employment. It provides information such as conditions of employment and should be provided within two months of commencement of work.
3. Contract of Employment
Any employee in your business should receive an employment contract which sets out the employee’s rights, working conditions and responsibilities. It doesn’t need to be a formal written document but it should contain all the implied and explicit terms of employment.
4. Business Insurance
With this insurance policy, your business will be protected from claims from employees who have fallen ill or been injured in the workplace. It’s prudent to apply for it unless you don’t have any employees, as in the case of a business that’s been created to provide your own services to clients or running a business with close family members. Make sure you apply for adequate insurance cover for the ultimate protection.
5. Register as an Employer with HMRC
You are required to register as an employer under HMRC within four weeks of hiring your first employee. As the employer, you will be paying your employee a specific pre-determined salary and deducting PAYE and the national insurance contributions from their salaries.
6. Salary Payments
When it comes time to pay your employees, you need to provide them with a payslip. It should have the gross pay, the next pay, the income tax deductions and NIC deductions as well as pension contributions. When the RTI (Real Time Information) was created, you are required to remit the payroll data to HMRC after paying your staff. Such information was previously provided at the end of each tax year. Make sure you are in compliance with the National Minimum Wage.
7. Health and Safety Compliance
Your duty as an employer is to provide your employees with a safe and secure working environment. You don’t need a formal Health and Safety policy unless there are many employees. However, you need to take the necessary time to assess the various risks your employees might face at work.
8. Pension Auto-Enrolment
You must enrol your employees into a workplace pension scheme if they are at least 22 years old and above with a salary of more than £9,440 for the 2013 and 2014 tax year. Currently, the larger businesses are the ones affected by this but by the end of 2018 new rules were brought in to affect all types of employers.
9. Holiday/Maternity/Paternity/Sick Leave Pay
There are many rules in place that govern your employees’ rights when taking time off for holiday, paternity, maternity or sick leave and how they can receive remuneration for these periods.
You need to know what happens when things with your new employee don’t work out. If you don’t follow the proper rules of dismissal (such as where the employee resigns because there is a breach in contract), there is a chance that they can make it a legal matter. Here, an employment tribunal will be involved if there are any disagreements over remuneration, discrimination or improper circumstances surrounding the dismissal.
As an employer, you have the obligation to treat your employee fairly according to the law. Before hiring your first employee, you should do your research to follow the law accordingly.