Things to Consider Before Taking on Staff

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Yellow Belt
As your business expands you're likely to need additional staff to help run it.

Staff are an investment, and must be viewed as such. That means it needs to be taken seriously, not rushed into.

Staff recruitment

First of all, at the stage you are at, do you really need to take on additional staff. Could an existing staff member take on any additional work at this time?

Consider how long your extra help is required, permanently, or is it just a temporary need for extra help due to an increased workload? Will extra help expand your business.

* If you are replacing staff who have left, why did they leave? Will you need someone with the exact same skills, or experience?
* Do you need to bring in a new skill to your business that none of your existing employees has?
* Has your workload increased? If so, is the workload likely to continue or is it just a temporary increase?
* What will be the impact of taking on a new staff member? Will they need office space for instance? Will you need to buy new equipment for them, such as an office chair, computer?

If you decide to take on more workers-

You have to consider the type of worker you wish to employ, depending on how constant the work is, length of time you expect the work to last, and the weekly hours of work you need someone for.

The various options available

* Permanent employees can be full-time or part-time.
* Fixed-term contract employees have an employment contract with you but it is for a predetermined time or until a specific task has been completed. You'll still have employer obligations but only for the duration of the contract. See our guide on the employment
* Employment agencies can be very useful if you just want temporary staff who are then supplied to you by an agency. Your contract is with an employment agency to supply you with staff, but you still have certain legal responsibilities towards the agency worker.
* Employer obligations are fewer if you take on self-employed freelancers, consultants and contractors
* Zero-hours contracts allow you to have people on-call to work whenever necessary and mutually convenient. Generally, you are not obliged to offer work, nor is there a responsibility for the worker to accept any work.
* Employment of young people, may mean restrictions on the hours and types of work that they can legally carry out.

For employees whatever the hours they work

Whether your employees are full time or part time you will still have responsibilities to them. Some apply straight away, others after a minimum period of continuous employment.

* You must give them a written statement of the main terms and conditions of their contract of employment.
* You must give them an itemised pay statement at or before the time of payment.
* You'll have to make sure the working environment is safe and secure.
* You must also have insurance to protect against claims for any illnesses, injuries or diseases your employees may pick up as a result of working for you.
* Register as an employer with HM Revenue & Customs to set up a payroll, deducting tax and National Insurance contributions from your employees' pay and forwarding the money to HMRC.
* Consideration has to be given to a minimum level of paid holiday, a maximum length of a working week and minimum levels of rest breaks.
* They must also be paid at least the National Minimum Wage.
* If members of your staff are off sick for more than three days, they will be entitled to statutory sick pay.
* If your employee is pregnant, or is about to or has recently become a parent, they'll be entitled to maternity, paternity or adoption leave and parental leave during the first five years of their child's life. You must also seriously consider any requests from parents with children under six to work more flexibly.
* Treating your employees fairly is essential. You must not discriminate against them. Your employees are entitled to fair treatment, whether you have to dismiss them, make their position redundant or if you're selling your business.
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