Hiring your first member of staff – what to look for and how to avoid mistakes

Hiring your first member of staff

Hiring your first member of staff – what to look for and how to avoid mistakes

Running a business by yourself can be challenging and tiring, particularly in times of COVID-19. Bringing staff on board can help you manage your workload, expand your business, and improve the quality of your service, so it might be time you look at hiring your first member of staff. 

There are procedures you must follow when hiring, and this can feel overwhelming, especially with your busy schedule. So here’s what you should look for when hiring your first member of staff and how to avoid mistakes.

Before hiring

Before diving straight into it, you might want to consider what type of worker you would like to bring to your new team. Do you want to bring them in as a full-time employee or as another type of worker? There are a few ways you could classify them:

  • Worker
  • Employee
  • Self-employed/contractor

Each of these has different rights and responsibilities for you as their employer. 

Employees are entitled to sick pay, holiday pay, maternity/paternity pay, and plenty of other benefits. Workers, however, are a good choice if you are concerned that you won’t have enough work for them. They’re free to work for other companies, provided it doesn’t interfere with the work they do for you. And they’re also typically easier to let go.

It’s a legal requirement to register as an employer before you hire anyone, even if you only intend on employing yourself. You must register as an employer before the first payday but not any sooner than two months before. This can be done on the HMRC website. It’s also worth noting that, as of 1st April 2020, all employees need a contract from day 1. This is just as important for you as it is for them, otherwise you could land in legal hot water.

After hiring

Once you’ve hired your first employees, you need to make sure you and they are protected. Employers’ liability insurance will cover the payout and legal costs if your employee claims compensation for a work-related illness or injury. Most employers are legally obliged to take out employers’ liability insurance, and this policy must cover you for at least £5 million. For each day that you aren’t properly insured, you can receive a hefty fine of up to £2,500. 

And within the first two months of employment, you must present all of your workers – not just your employees – with a written statement of work if their employment is to last at least a month. You may face legal repercussions if you fail to provide your workers with this statement.

Hiring your first employee is a big step for the growth of any business, but can be a daunting process. Remembering to double-check the rules by doing as much as you can in advance is a good way to ensure no mistakes are made. 

At Big Hand, we will handle any of your business or accountancy needs for you. And if you’re a new company looking for some advice, we’re there for you too. Get in touch on 0161 327 2911.

About the Author:

Since 2013, Sophie has been an integral part of the Big Hand team. As a social butterfly, Sophie is mostly responsible for introducing new clients to the company. If you’re an avid networking, you’re most likely to meet Sophie at local events. Alongside attracting new business, she also assists with account management, and she manages payroll on behalf of clients. For fun, Sophie loves to keep fit running or playing korfball with her team. She is also in the middle of learning a new language and so her most recent challenge is attempting to read Harry Potter in Dutch.