Taking on employees is an important process in growing your business and with it
comes a range of new responsibilities. This guide explains some of the key
factors that will affect the way you recruit and manage your new employees.
The Recruitment Process
When you are recruiting new employees you must ensure the process is fair and
non-discriminatory. You must not discriminate against a candidate on the basis
of race, sex, disabilities or marital status at any point in the recruitment
process. There are a number of exceptions to these rules for certain job roles.
For example in the case of acting and modelling where someone from a particular
racial group or sex may be required for authenticity reasons, or restaurants
that supply authentic cuisine may also be allowed to recruit from a particular
racial group. Be careful when you are writing notes about your applicants, under
data protection laws candidates can request to see the notes taken during the
Before you decide to take on an employee you must ensure they are eligible to
work in the UK , this is your legal responsibility. You can confirm eligibility
by contacting the individual's previous employer or obtaining a letter from a
government agency which states the candidates National Insurance Number. This
could be any of the following:
- A P45 from a previous employment
- A P60 end of year summary
- A payslip
- A National Insurance Card
For further guidance on eligibility issues you can contact the Home Office on
020 8649 7878 (http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/).
Hiring the right people
When considering who to employ in your new business venture it is important not
to just hire people with the same skills as yourself. You may find that you have
more in common with these people but businesses thrive on diversity and a good
mix of skills is one of the key factors to creating a successful business.
Experience is a good quality however you do not necessarily want to hire people
who are used to doing a particular job a particular way. You need adaptability
in your work force to respond to the constantly changing demands within your
market. People who thrive in business are people who apply initiative and detach
themselves from their own preconceptions, confronting everything with an
inquisitive outlook. If you have built your own business then you are likely to
already have these abilities, there was never anyone there to hold your hand and
you got this far. You achieved this by making your own decisions and applying
initiative, an effective workforce will rely on you to lead them in the right
direction but they will not ask you for help when they reach the first hurdle.
Another important quality to look for is commitment, this goes without saying
really but it is not always easy when you are interviewing somebody to determine
how committed they will be. You should try to look at what they have achieved
already in their previous workplace and what qualifications they have attained.
People who speak enthusiastically about their previous assignments are likely to
be individuals who enjoy their work and will not have difficulty committing to a
Drawing up Employment Contracts
A verbal employment agreement exists as soon as a job is offered to a candidate.
In accordance with UK employment legislation all employers must provide a
written statement defining the terms of their employment within 8 weeks of
taking them on. This statement or employment contract as it is know should
contain the following:
- The name and address of the employer and employee.
- The date the employee's period of continuous employment began. This is usually
the date they started with you but if you bought the business from a previous
employer the period begins from when they originally started.
- The amount the employee will be paid and the times during which they will be
required to work.
- Job title and a description of the duties.
- The place or places where the employee will be expected to work.
- The notice period you and your employee must provide on ending the employment.
- How long the job will last if it is a fixed term employment.
- Details of any collective agreements outside of the contract that will affect
the terms of their employment.
It is now compulsory for employers to provide a further written policy that will
be used to define a three stage procedure for dealing with grievances and
The Company Wizard provide a complete
Employment Template Pack that is compliant with current UK employment law
and includes a full contract and 3 additional policies to cover
grievances, disputes and disciplinary matters.
When taking on employees you must insure yourself against any claims arising
from illnesses or injuries that an employee may acquire while working for you.
This can be done by obtaining Employers' liability insurance. The minimum
statutory cover is currently £5 million and the certificate should be displayed
in the work place and retained long after it has expired in case an employee
makes a claim many years later.
Certain professions will also benefit from legal indemnity insurance. This type
of cover is usually sought after by solicitors and accountants and will provide
financial support in the event that a customer decides to take legal action
against an employee who has been wrongly advised.
The Minimum Wage
The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is a legal right which covers almost all workers
in the UK and serves to protect employees from unduly low pay.
The minimum rate of pay as per the NMW is £6.19 per hour for workers 21 and over
For more information on the National Minimum Wages please refer to the
GOV.UK Website NMW.
Employees who are unable to work for a period of 4 or more days are entitled to
a minimum level of statutory sick pay (SSP). Employers can however claim a
percentage of the money back from HM Revenue and Customs if your business's sick
pay reaches a set level.
The current rate of sick pay is £85.85
(2012/2013) (or at the set daily rates if a full
weeks pay is not applicable). Only employees who pay National Insurance above
the Lower Earning Limit (LEL) are entitled to receive Statutory Sick Pay. For
more information on SSP please visit the Revenue website where you can find out
for information on Sick Pay.
You can find a whole range of employment guides on the