So you’ve made it through the last 12 months and actually things are either going well or at least starting to look brighter and you’re thinking that now is the time to hire your first employee. In fact you’re not alone, in a recent survey conducted by the CIPD more than half of UK employers said that they intend to recruit staff in the next three months. Hiring an employee is an exciting step for a start up but you need to be careful not to be carried along in the euphoria and make sure that you follow all the right steps to ensure you get things right and don’t fall foul of employment law. There are some fairly obvious things that you need to have in place but there are others that you might not have yet considered or even be aware of. So what are the essentials?
Many checks that employers carry out on new staff are seen as good practice; references, health checks and ensuring your new hire has the right qualifications are all good to have in place but do you know that legally you need to check that they have the right to work in the UK? This is usually a simple check and you can meet your obligations by taking a copy of the photo page of your employee’s passport then record that it has been checked, by who and when and put the copy in their file. If they don’t have a passport you can check other documents and a full list of accepted documents is available online: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-work-checklist
Assuming that you are happy with the checks you are now ready to issue your new starter with their terms and conditions of employment. As of April 2020 all employees and workers must be provided with a written statement of employment particulars by no later than the first day of their employment (where you previously had up to 8 weeks from their start date to do this). This can be a basic statement containing only the essential minimum information, with a wider written statement being issued within 2 months of the employee’s start date. CUBE HR always recommends to our clients that the full contract of employment is given to an employee prior to starting – it gives the employee chance to read through and see what they are signing up to before they accept the job role. Your contract of employment template also needs to include some specific clauses. We can go through a free compliance health check with you to make sure that your contract is fit for purpose and includes everything that you need.
Legally all employers must have certain policies and procedures in place which staff are able to access, they are a health & safety policy (if you have more than five employees), a disciplinary policy and a grievance policy. There are also a number of other policies which it is advisable to have such as equal opportunities and data protection, again our free no obligation health check will help to steer you in the right direction and we also have a fully compliant handbook which we keep updated with all legislative changes which we tailor to our clients.
As an employer you will need to set up a workplace pension for your staff and enrol them in it, this is often referred to as an auto-enrolment pension although staff are able to opt out should they wish. There is a handy set up tool which takes you through the necessary steps which is available online https://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/en/employers/new-employers If you don’t already have anything in place then you should take out employers’ liability insurance to protect your business in the event of employees bringing an injury claim against you.
Once you have all of the above ready then you are in a great position. Ensure that your onboarding and induction process is as exciting and creative as possible. Immerse your new hire in the business so that they are engaged and excited about coming to work. Help your new starter to become as passionate about the business as you are by spending time with them so that they understand what drives you and how you want them to work. They will then become a genuine ambassador, who not only sells your business to clients, but also to future employees. At CUBE HR, we believe that happy employees, make happy customers which, in turn, creates a thriving business. Stuart Wright is an HR consultant for CUBE HR. To learn more about how CUBE HR can help you, check out its website at www.cubehr.co.uk where you’ll find loads of information about and some incredibly useful blogs and videos. CUBE HR is a member of Boost & Co – a group of public and private sector organisations that can help Lancashire businesses grow. They are also delivering several events during March 2021 as part of Boost’s Resilience Networks.