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10 Things To Consider When Hiring For The First Time

Croydon’s falling youth unemployment numbers have outperformed the rest of London, the ONS’s latest Labour Market Bulletin figures show.

Nearly 350 more people are now employed in Croydon after figures showed the number of those without jobs fell by 4.4% from October to November 2013, according to Croydon Council. It is hoped that the Pathways to Employment project will also help bring greater prosperity to the borough. The Pathways to Employment initiative is a joint programme between the Council, Jobcentre Plus, and private sector companies and charities. The project intends to create 16,000 new jobs in Croydon over the next 5 years.

As a Croydon employment solicitor, I’m often asked by small businesses and start-ups how they should go about employing their staff. Often these business owners have never hired employees or workers before and can be nervous about taking on the responsibility.

The good news is that with a little forward planning (and some expert employment law advice) you can hire employees in a way that is fair to them whilst also protecting your business. Here are 10 basic things I always advise employers to consider before hiring.

  1. Decide on what sort of basis you want to employ someone. Do you need a casual or freelance worker, an employee under a zero hours contract, or a fixed term or standard, permanent employment contract?
  2. Know how much you must pay someone. You must pay your employee at least the current National Minimum Wage (currently £6.31 adult rate), except in some rare circumstances. Our Factsheet on the Minimum Wage has all the details.
  3. Check that someone has the legal right to work in the UK. You may have to do other employment checks as well, particularly if you are financially regulated.
  4. You may have to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, formerly known as a CRB check, if you work in a field that requires one (such as working with vulnerable people or children).
  5. You will need employer’s liability insurance as soon as you become an employer. This insurance will pay out compensation if your employee is injured or becomes ill because of the work they do for you.
  6. If you take on an employee you will need to provide them with a written statement of employment after 1 month. This has to include certain information such as place of work, hours of work, pay and certain benefits.
  7. Inform HMRC that you are an employer by registering with them. You can do this up to 4 weeks before you pay your new staff. You can find a range of free payroll software options on the HMRC website.
  8. Understand your legal duties as an employer, in order to avoid inadvertently discriminating against employees or giving them grounds to make claims against you for unfair dismissal or breaches of contract..
  9. Ensure you comply with the Working Time Regulations with regard to working hours, rest breaks and holiday.
  10. Be aware of your employer obligations regarding statutory maternity/adoption leave and pay, and sick pay (SSP) and know how to reclaim these as a small business.

If you need any advice about hiring for the first time, we’re happy to answer your queries. You can discuss your business requirements with us so that you make an informed choice about how to proceed. Call 0845 089 0152 or email

Martin Searle Solicitors, 9 Marlborough Place, Brighton, BN1 1UB
T: 01273 609 991

Martin Searle Solicitors is the trading name of ms solicitors ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and is registered in England under company number 05067303.

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