The Basics of being an Employer

Many small businesses need advice about the rights and responsibilities of being an Employer.  Putting some relatively straightforward processes in place will help prevent the pitfalls of inadequate training, high levels of absence, ineffective management and ultimately high levels of staff turnover. 

The Basics

Any new Employee will need an Employment Contract.  You have two months to provide a written statement setting out rights to holiday pay and time off.  You may also want to have a staff handbook setting out the less formal rules that apply within the workplace.

Ensure you comply with the National Minimum Wage and any Pension requirements.  ACAS and HM Revenue and Customs have helpful websites to look at to make sure you comply. 

Have a Formal Recruitment Process

You should make sure you have got a written Job Description which the Employee is aware of this will help you if there are issues later on down the line. 

Planned Training and Induction

A formal document of induction will help you both welcome a new recruit but also make them fully aware of their rights and responsibilities.  If an Employee does not know the way in which you would like their role carried out, it will make it difficult from the outset then as it sets the Employer/Employee relationship off to a bad start. 

Have clear Discipline and Grievance Procedures

Last year ACAS was asked to assist in 4,000 employment problems that could have resulted in Tribunal Claims.  Internal disciplinary and grievance procedures will help prevent matters from escalating that far.  It is normally better to resolve grievances through your internal process than to have a disgruntled Employee going to a third party for advice.

Managing Attendance and Performance

Whilst this can be a complex area and you may wish to have legal advice you should have processes in place to deal with both performance issues and capability issues caused by ill health.  Whilst an Employee has the right to expect to be dealt with sympathetically clear procedures will assist in allowing both parties to know how they should be treated. 

Employing people can seem very straightforward however it is worth spending a little time and effort, as an Employer, so you have the confidence to deal with issues that arise knowing that you are complying with the Law whilst looking after your staff.