Growing your start-up is a tough but exciting challenge. Once you reach a certain level of growth, you may need to turn your attention to employing additional staff for the first time. This is a significant step because it represents the evolution of your business to an entity that can employ and support other workers besides yourself. It’s a fantastic sign that you are doing something right, but there are several things that you need to be aware of when employing staff for the first time. Let’s look at some of these.

When Is the Right Time to Employ Someone?

Knowing when the right time is to bring your first employee on board is a tricky decision to make. There are many factors that you must consider before choosing to hire. Operations should be a significant factor in your decision – are you stretched too thin in the day to day to be able to work on big picture things? Could you be spending your time elsewhere to further develop the business? These are questions that you should be asking yourself. If the answer is yes to both, then you’re probably in need of a helping hand.

Another consideration should be whether you have enough cash flow to pay a staff member. Will you be able to pay them in full and on time without disrupting business proceedings? Can you offer them a stable working routine which will allow them to earn enough to live? All these are significant decisions you must ensure you are comfortable with before entering the world of employment.

Liability

You must understand your responsibilities and liabilities as an employer when you hire someone for the first time. You will be liable for the actions of your employees, positive or negative, so you need to ensure that you trust them to do the job properly. Employers also have to take out employer’s liability insurance – this should cover the cost of compensation if your employee is taken ill or injured because of their job. 

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Employment Checks

Every employer has the responsibility to carry out necessary employment checks before giving someone a job. These checks can include confirming they have the right to work in the UK, as well as aptitude checks and interviews. Some industries may require a DBS check to be completed before someone is allowed to work in certain sectors like social care and childcare.

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Health and Safety

Just as you are liable for the work your employee does, employers are also responsible for providing safe working conditions and appropriate personal protective equipment. Any accidents or injuries that occur on your premises can damage your reputation as an employer and business, so ensure that the necessary risk assessments are completed.

Remuneration 

Perhaps one of the more crucial elements to consider when employing someone for the first time is remuneration. This refers to the money paid to an employee for their hours worked or service provided. Employees in the UK must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage which varies depending on age. When you employ someone you will also have to declare this to HMRC to allow you to pay them through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system. This should be done weeks before you pay someone for the first time.

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Working Hours

An important consideration for prospective employees is the number of hours that you will be able to offer them. Some people may be looking for part-time work or a full-time role – this needs to be carefully thought through and advertised by the employer to avoid misleading candidates. Be careful to not promise more hours than you can offer because you could be jeopardising the livelihood of the person you are employing.

Who Can I Trust?

All these factors aside, you may be hesitant to bring someone on board when you’re so used to managing your small business alone. Putting your trust and faith in someone can be daunting, so following the proper steps when hiring a candidate is essential. Get to know someone thoroughly in an interview or several meetings before you offer the job. It’s always a good idea to find someone passionate about the business or industry, so they can put the same enthusiasm into the job as you do.

There are many other facets of employment and labour law in the UK, but above are a few key points to get you started. Other areas you may need to consider are pension enrolment and employment contracts– but you can tackle those when you need to.