Hiring your first employee is a big step to take so it’s important to get it right. The right person can help you expand your business by bringing on experience, enthusiasm and commitment, while employing the wrong person can prove costly and disruptive.
To make life easier, here are our top tips to help you employ your first employee and comply with your obligations under UK employment law.
Determine Their Wage
Decide how much to pay your staff member – what can you afford? You must be able to pay your employee at least the National Minimum Wage.
Write A Clear Job Description
It’s important to write a clear job description to ensure you attract the right candidates. Make sure all duties and qualification requirements are covered.
Don’t get drawn into listing endless bullet points and unnecessary job specs. Keep things simple and you should attract far more candidates.
Get to know your candidates and, if needed, meet with them more than once to be sure they’re the right fit for the job.
Even if your ‘gut’ instinct for a candidate is a good one, make sure you do a thorough background check with references to be sure about your new hire.
Eligibility to Work In The UK
Check if they have the legal right to work in the UK. You may have to do other employment checks as well.
Register with HMRC
You will need to register your business with the HMRC as an employer – you can do this for up to 4 weeks before you pay your new staff.
Employers Liability Insurance
You must get Employers’ Liability insurance as soon as you become an employer to help you pay compensation if an employee is injured or becomes ill because of the work they do for you. You can be fined £1,000 if you do not display your certificate or refuse to make it available to inspectors when they ask.
Written Statement of Employment
Send details of the job (including terms and conditions) in writing to your employee if you’re employing them for more than one month. You must provide the written statement within 2 months of the start of employment.
Workplace Pension Scheme
Check if you need to automatically enrol your staff into a workplace pension scheme. It may be your legal duty to enrol your staff in a workplace pension scheme from the day you hire them.
Running a business in the Black Country, Shropshire or Herefordshire and need a helping hand in hiring your first employee?
Click here to take our eligibility checker and find out if you could benefit from free business support from the Enterprise Action project.