Top tips when taking on your 1st paid member of staff from an HR specialist.
So, you have been thinking about it and now you are almost ready to take the next step in your business and take on an employee. This is a majorly exciting time, your business is starting to grow - give yourself a massive pat on the back, not many businesses get to this stage so make sure you take time to celebrate this milestone.
How though do you go about it? The first decision you need to make if you want to take on someone is, will they be an employee or a worker (freelance/ agency/ casual workers).
Workers are entitled to some employment rights including:
· National Minimum Wage
· Holiday pay
· Protection against unlawful discrimination
· The right not to be treated less favourably if they work part-time.
Generally, workers work to the terms within a contract of employment and generally have to do the work personally. However, some workers may have a partial right to send someone else to carry out the work.
Employees are entitled to the same rights as a worker, plus additional employee rights, these can include:
· Written statement of employment
· Itemised pay slip
· The National Minimum Wage
· Holiday pay, maternity and paternity pay etc
· The right to request flexible working hours
· The right not to be discriminated against.
Next you will need to work out how to recruit your new team member. Recruiting can be a huge step when you haven’t employed anyone before, it can feel like a big task, but the key is to break it down into manageable pieces.
Firstly, you will need prepare a job description and person specification, think about what are the tasks of the job, what type of person are you looking for, what skills do they need? Take care you do not discriminate! There are a number of protected characteristics you need to be aware of– age – disability – gender reassignment – marriage and civil partnership – pregnancy/ paternity/ race- religion and belief- sex. These characteristics apply before, during and after employment.
You will need to advertise for the role – think of at least two different places to advertise so you capture a wider audience. You will also need to decide how much to pay them - you must pay your employee at least the National Minimum Wage. You don’t have to disclose the salary on the job advert but it might help.
Once you have advertised and received CV’s or application forms or both you will then need to interview. I would recommend you initially complete a telephone interview, then if the candidates pass that stage you can arrange a face to face interview. I would always recommend that you interview with at least one other person present so you can get an alternative opinion.
When interviewing, you will need to check if someone has the legal right to work in the UK. You may have to do other employment checks as well such as if you need to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (formerly known as a CRB check) if you work in a field that requires one, eg with vulnerable people or security.
You will also need to get employment insurance - you need employers’ liability insurance as soon as you become an employer, so it’s worth getting this as you move to the next stage.
Once you have interviewed, and selected your chosen candidate you will need to make a formal job offer. You can do this on the phone and then follow up in writing with and send details of the job (including terms and conditions). You need to give your employee a written statement of employment if you’re employing someone for more than 1 month. It is best practice to write a formal contract and the basis of this is the statement of employment.
Along with a contract it is definitely worth putting together an employee handbook. An employee handbook is a great document including policies and procedures you and your employees can refer to. You should provide one to each employee containing information about your business. (although most of the information can be duplicated) This can be as simple or as long as you wish. It can also include terms and conditions of employment and business rules and regulations. The employee handbook should include policies such as sickness, maternity, flexible working, holidays and disciplinary and grievances to name a few.
You will need to tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by registering as an employer. You don’t need to do this up to 4 weeks before you pay your new staff, but it is best to be ahead of the game. You will also need to check if you have to automatically enrol your employee into a workplace pension scheme.
Please don’t let all this information overwhelm you, once you have your first employee in place it will be easier to take on more. Again enjoy this exciting time for you and your business.
If you would like more support or help with any of the mentioned above or any other HR matters, then HR Puzzle – the missing piece in your business is here to help. Please visit our website www.hr-puzzle.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07960113252.