By : James from Andrew Keates
If you’re thinking about starting your own business or recently have, you probably know how much time and effort it takes to do it alone. You need to look for worthy staff which will be your biggest asset. Whether it’s one assistant or a trustworthy team of experts in your field, hiring the right staff can make the big difference in your business. If your business is located within the UK, we can give you the following steps to ensure that you follow the rules when it comes to employing staff. With the knowing that you’ve done everything legally required when hiring your staff, you will eventually be on the way to a happy employer-employee relationships that will unfold as your business grows.
Take into consideration what you are expecting your employees to do. Weigh up responsibilities and how much you consider that job to be worth alongside how much you can realistically afford to pay them. One thing that is an absolute must is that you pay each member of staff more than minimum wage. The national minimum wage in the UK is currently £6.50 per hour for employees over 21. You can expect to pay 18-20 year olds at least £5.13 whereas those under 18 can work for £3.79. There is also the option to take on an apprentice. Visit apprenticeships.org.uk to find out if you are eligible for The Apprenticeship Grant for Employers of 16-24 year olds and to find out more information about the benefits of apprenticeships in the UK.
Legal Right to Work
It is extremely important that you carry out a Right to Work check because you could face a civil penalty if you employ an illegal worker. You must also not discriminate due to the race of an applicant. Carry out this check by first requesting the worker’s official documents. Be thorough and check that the documents are valid with the worker present. The validity depends on the originality of the documents and its rightful ownership. Therefore, ensure to check their original copies, their seal and identification, the validity of the dates indicated and the photos presented. Make sure that the person has permission to do the type of work that they are offering including the limit on the number of hours they can work. If the potential worker is a student, ask to see evidence of their educational course and their vacation times.
Always reproduce photocopies of the documents and ensure that they cannot be altered nor changed. For passports, photocopy any page with the expiry date, applicant’s details (nationality, date of birth, photograph) and other endorsements, e.g. a work visa or Certificate of Entitlement to the right of abode in the UK. Follow data protection law by keeping your duplicate copies during the employees’ work tenure.
If a rare occasion arises where the applicant cannot show you their documents, it is necessary that you use the Home Office’s Employer Checking Service. This will tell you if the potential employee has a right to work.
All of this may seem time consuming and intense but in most circumstances it should be a relatively straightforward procedure of checking the documents and making the necessary copies.
CRB to DBS.
Recently, the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS.) Whereas before you may have heard of potential employees having to be CRB checked, they are now called DBS checks. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children.
Not every business needs to have their workers undertake this check. For many jobs in the education sector, care, medical, social work, leisure and sport, transport, security and childcare fields, a DBS check is usually routine. The DBS has a list of most roles which are eligible for a check and you can also contact them with any questions you may have. There are also different rules regarding this in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
It is always good to be organized, but avoid getting too far ahead of yourself in this area. Only request a check for a successful job applicant, i.e. an applicant who has been told they have the job. If the check illuminates something negative about the potential employee, thus making them unsuitable, it is within your rights to withdraw the job offer. In the onset, it is likely that you are only employing a small number of workers. Should your business need more than 100 checks a year, you may work with an umbrella body, such as the Liverpool Primary Care Trust who will carry out the checks on your behalf.
As soon as you become an employer, it is time to get Employer’s Liability Insurance. This will help you to pay compensation if an employee is injured or becomes ill due to the work they do for you. You can be fined £2500 each day if you are not properly insured. You have to display your EL certificate and make it available to inspectors; otherwise, further fines can be incurred. Insurance brokers can be useful consultants when you buy your Employer’s Liability Insurance.
Again, timing is the key to comply with this requirement. You will need to register as an employer with HM Revenue and Customs when you start to employ people. It must be before the first payday but not more than two months before you start employing. Don’t forget to register yourself as the only director of a limited company, if necessary.
If you are employing someone for more than one month, you need to state the terms of their contract such as responsibilities, duties, employment conditions. It must be provided to the employee within their first two months of working with you. It should also cover pertinent information that will answer the employee queries regarding their employment, such as holiday entitlement and grievance facility. Having these provisions in a written contract may also be helpful to protect your company as well.
While this is a lot to take in, these measures are the essentials for hiring employees who in turn will offer their services to you. Liverpool accountants, Andrew Keates and Associates have an expert team who count many small businesses among their clients. As soon as you have completed the hiring process, they are available to apply their organizational skills to upkeep your employees’ records and needs such as payroll facilities, reporting compliance and general advice on managing your employees.
James is a self-confessed ‘accounting geek’ who works for Andrew Keates. He began his journey as a young accounting student but later decided that he also wanted to be an accounting instructor. While continuing his education, he learned about the wonderful benefits that the accountants in Liverpool can provide and joined them. Find out how they can help by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.