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Taking on new staff is an exercise that usually means following necessary procedures to make sure everything is as it should be. David Cook from Baxi outlines some key factors to consider when expanding your team.
When business is booming and you find yourself getting more jobs or bigger projects than you are used to, the logical step is to take someone on to help with the additional work. However, employing someone comes with more responsibilities than when you are just self-employed. Here are five of the most important things you need to consider when someone is joining your team.
Before you start your recruitment drive, it’s essential that you get yourself registered as an employer with HMRC. This can’t be done more than two months before you start paying employees, but must be completed before the first payday, and it’s worth bearing in mind that it usually takes up to five days to be processed. Once you are registered and you have your employer PAYE reference number, you can pay your employees correctly and in line with tax regulations. Everyone likes to be paid on time and no employer wants to have unhappy employees thanks to pay disputes, so it is important to make sure you’re prepared ahead of time.
There are a few checks that you must be aware of before you hire an employee. The first of these is ensuring they have a right to work in the UK. You can verify this, either by carrying out a check with the HMRC online, or by asking them to provide you with the relevant codes and documents, such as a valid passport.
No one day looks the same for an installer, as they are regularly required to go to jobs that involve vulnerable people, or that may have high security regulations. In these cases, it may be necessary for your employee to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) background check. These can be requested directly from DBS and various levels of checks can be carried out depending on the requirements of your work. This will not only ensure complete safety on site, but it will provide your customers with complete peace of mind.
When you are taking on a long-term team member, you need to make sure both your business and employees are protected legally. If you employ someone for more than a month, you need to put together a statement of employment outlining all terms and conditions. One part of this document is the principal statement, which needs to cover the following aspects:
• the business’s name
• the employee’s name, job title or a description of work and start date
• if a previous job counts towards a period of continuous employment, the date the period started
• how much and how often an employee will get paid
• hours of work including if employees will have to work Sundays, nights or overtime
• holiday entitlement and if that includes public holidays
• where an employee will be working and whether they might have to relocate
• if an employee works in different places, where these will be and what the employer’s address is
A further written statement must be produced with details on notice periods, collective agreements, pensions, and any temporary work information.
It goes without saying that you need to pay your team members according to the National Minimum Wage, and by using the handy online tool on the UK Government website, you can easily work out the minimum wage rate for your team member.
On top of this, if your employee is eligible, you must provide a workplace pension scheme as soon as your first worker starts. They can participate if they are between 22 and the State Pension age; earn at least £10,000 per year; and they usually work in the UK – this includes people who are based in the UK but travel for work.
As soon as you become an employer, you must by law obtain Employers’ Liability insurance. Anything can happen on site and installers’ work can be unpredictable and dangerous. This will cover you to help pay compensation if an employee is injured or becomes ill because of work they have carried out for you. Your policy must provide cover for at least £5 million and come from an authorised provider – if you don’t have this cover you could end up with daily fines of £2500 until you get a policy.
These pointers could seem fairly second nature to some, but with so many laws and regulations for employers to follow, it is very important to be aware of all the formalities. This will make sure you do not fall foul of the law and, crucially, keeps your customers and employees happy.
For more information on top tips for expanding your team, visit: https://www.gov.uk/employ-someone