When you initially set up your own business, it can be easy enough to keep it running by yourself, as your operation is relatively small. However, once your business starts to pick up, it can sometimes be necessary to consider hiring new employees. On the surface, the process of getting new workers seems relatively straightforward: hire them, train them, and give them a starting date. However, in reality, there is a lot more you need to know about becoming an employer than that! If you are hiring someone for the first time, here are some of the legal requirements and responsibilities of becoming an employer which you will need to be aware of.
Being sure that you can offer consistent work
If you are hiring someone under a contract, then you have to be able to offer them the hours proposed in their contract each week. Consider all of the tasks that you might be wanting an employee for, and make sure that there is enough work on offer to warrant hiring someone. Even on a part-time basis, if you offer someone contracted hours, you have to be able to deliver. Alternatively, you could consider working with someone on a freelancing basis, meaning that they are actually self-employed, and you contract them for specific pieces of work only. This arrangement takes the responsibility of providing enough work for them off your shoulders, while still enabling you to get the extra help as and when it is needed.
Being aware of legal requirements
It is your responsibly to check that an employee is legally allowed to work in this country, so make sure to check all of the necessary documents, make copies and then file all of their paperwork in a secure storage unit, as you are bound by confidentiality and privacy laws to keep their details protected. You also need to consider the age of your potential employee because if you are hiring a student, or someone under the age of 18, as part-time staff, then under current laws, they are only able to work certain hours within a set time period. You may also be required to pay sick pay, as well as holiday pay, although the calculation of this entitlement depends on the number of hours and days a week a person works. It is also important that you remember that while a person works for you, being responsible for employees health and wellbeing while on the job is also a requirement. It means that if they are injured at work, you may be liable, so it is essential to get some employers insurance.
Making the time to mentor new employees
First of all, you need to consider the fact that the success of your business relies on the people who you employ. Up until now, your business has thrived because you have been the only employee, and you can rely on yourself to put the necessary time and effort into your work. However, when you hire someone new, you are putting a lot of trust into someone who you don’t know. Therefore, this is something to think about when hiring new people: are they trustworthy, dependable and worth putting time and energy into? No matter your employee’s previous work experience, you are going to have to spend time helping them learn the ropes of your business, so this is an investment of time as well as money. Make sure that you feel you will be able to put the necessary hours into mentoring your new employee so that you can get them up to a working standard that you are happy with. The more effort you put into teaching them the business when they first arrive, the less time you’ll have to spend guiding them further down the line.
Knowing your financial responsibilities
Unless you are hiring a freelance worker who is classed as self-employed, you are normally required by law to pay the national minimum wage to your employees, so this is something which you need to take into consideration when hiring. There are also some different legal obligations which you need to be aware of concerning your employees pay. For example, you may be responsible for making certain legal deductions from an employee’s paycheck, and making payments to other companies in the name of your employee. For example, you will need to withhold a portion of their earnings for tax purposes, and if your employee makes child maintenance payments, it may be down to you to send the payments to the CSA.