Taking on your first employee is an exciting, but a potentially daunting time.

It’s a time when you realise how far you’ve come but can also be a little concerning as you’ll be handing over some responsibility for your business to somebody new. It’s also a time when you know that you need to understand what’s involved so that you can handle your duties and obligations as an employer.

Here are points that you’ll need to consider:

Check whether the applicant is suitable

Once you have selected your hire, you may want to check whether they have the right to work in the UK. You should also check whether there are any other checks required before you hire them – for example if they are to work with children, you’ll need to look into their background more deeply and even secure a police report which is known as a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service).

Provide a statement of employment

A statement of employment is a written document that provides the employee with the conditions of their employment. This must be sent to them within 2 months of starting work.
All employees must have a contract of employment

In addition, you will need to supply an employment contract to your employee. This will detail what the rights of the employee are in addition to their responsibilities and working conditions. You will also need to detail what the rights are of yourself as the employer. Surprisingly, the latter does not have to be written, but its contents will remain in effect until employment either ends or conditions change.

Check whether you need additional business insurance

This type of insurance will protect your business if employees hurt themselves or fall ill whilst at work. Unless you run your business with close family members only working for you, then it’s important to take out Employers’ Liability to cover yourself.

Register with HMRC as an employer

You need to do this within 4 weeks of taking on your employee. You’ll be held responsible to deduct any PAYE (income tax) and National Insurance Contributions (NIC) from the salaries of your staff.

Register with HMRC as an Employer here

In addition to paying your staff, you should become aware of your Health and Safety obligations as an employer in addition to workplace pension schemes.

Also check out what applies when it comes to sick pay, holiday pay and maternity / paternity leave rules.

If things don’t work out as planned, then ensure you understand what’s involved in dismissing employees so that you aren’t taken to the employment tribunal (we have links with a tremendous HR professional firm who can help you before you get to this stage).

Once you look into your legal obligations, you can then begin to work on the path of training your employee for the role at hand, and begin to enjoy the benefits of having more time on your hands to continue to build the business.

Ask for further help or a sanity check from us here at WingroveTaylor if you in this position where you’re jumping in with both feet and employing your first member of staff. Our number is 0117 290 0208 and ask for a consultation with Helen Sanders. Alternatively, you can contact us here via this Contact form and Helen will call you back within 4 hours (during normal working hours!)