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Top Tips for Small Business Owners When Becoming an Employer

By Principal Lawyer, Business

As your small business grows you may want to consider taking someone on to help you with the work load and enable your company to expand. But there are many things to consider, both legally and practically, to make sure you do it right first time.

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Employing a member of staff can be a complicated process, which will involve forward planning and expertise. We’ve put together some pointers to get you started once you’ve decided to take on an employee.

Decide How Much to Pay

In the UK, you have to pay at least the National Minimum Wage which is the minimum amount per hour that workers are entitled to by law.

Carry Out Employment Checks

This can include checking that the person you wish to employ has the legal right to work in the UK. You may also need to carry out a DBS check, formally known as a CRB check, especially if you work in a field that requires one, e.g. for roles involving young people or security.

Insure Yourself

You will need to get employment insurance as soon as you become an employer. This is known as employers’ liability insurance.

Draw Up a Contract

With the help of a specialist employment solicitor, you will need to draw up a contract of employment for your new staff member. It should include terms and conditions and a written statement of employment if you’re employing them for more than one month.

Register as an Employer

By law you have to register as an employer with HMRC. This can’t be done more than 4 weeks before you pay your new member of staff.

You will need to send a report to HMRC on or before each day you pay your staff to show who you’re employing, how much they are being paid, and how much PAYE and NI you’re going to pay. You must make sure you do this every time as HMRC will fine you if you’re late.

Employment law can be a bit of a minefield, so it is always best to get legal advice before embarking on recruiting your first member of staff.

Jim Lister is a Business Employment Lawyer at Slater and Gordon in Manchester.

At Slater and Gordon we have a team of specialist employment law solicitors who have many years’ experience working with small businesses with and without HR departments. We can help you manage the legal implications of taking on staff. Call us on freephone 0800 916 9060 or contact us online and we will call you at a time that suits.

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