It can be a minefield when you hire your first or twenty-first member of staff and it is your responsibility as an employer to ensure that your new staff member has a positive and legal experience with you.
We have put together a comprehensive 5 point guide that will help you. If you would like to have a copy of this guide, please email and we will send you a copy. In the meantime, this article has condensed some of the most important points.
1. Useful Links
There are lots of online resources available, the government guides are a really good place to start. Check out https://www.gov.uk/employing-staff , https://www.gov.uk/browse/employing-people and http://www.acas.org.uk
2. The Offer
Know the difference between conditional and unconditional job offers. Once your unconditional job offer has been made and accepted by the applicant, you are in a legally binding contract of employment with the employee and withdrawal of an unconditional offer is a breach of contract. It is recommended that the terms of the contract are clearly given in writing too.
3. Statement of Written Particulars
All employers have a legal obligation to provide a written statement of particulars to ALL employees.
The statement must include by law:
- The name of the employee and the employer
- The start date of employment
- Job title
- The amount of pay and how often
- The hours of work
- Holiday entitlement and holiday pay particulars
- Notice period
- Where the job is based
- Disciplinary, grievance and dismissal procedures
- Sick pay entitlement
- Details of the Auto Enrolment pension scheme
Some of these details will need to be presented within 1 day of working and others will be within 8 weeks of starting.
4. Induction and Training
To ensure your new employee feels welcome, secure and understand what is expected of him/her, a well thought out induction and training programme will help. Try to create an environment where your new employee can experience real work experience and add value to your business as soon as possible.
Think about each stage of learning and check their understanding at each stage. It is a good idea to break down each component of your induction plan and include regular meetings to review their progress.
You may want to think about including a mix of training styles and set an induction timetable which is detailed and time specific to include things like basic facilities, personnel information, computer, telephone etc.
5. Probation Period
Probation periods are usually a period of 1 to 6 months where the new employee is employed subject to the satisfactory completion of employment related activity. The employee is still considered an employee from their first day, so relevant legislation will still need to be adhered to.
The employer should state the duration of the probation period and any other terms or reserved rights in the employment contract or offer letter. As an employer, you also have an implied duty to take reasonable steps to assist the employee to do their job well by providing induction, training, guidance and support.
This advice does not constitute legal advice and we would recommend that you become familiar with employment law and general HR best practice. If you would like further information or assistance with employing staff, we have a number of HR and Employment Lawyers we work with and we would be happy to recommend them, alternatively, why not request the full guide by emailing
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