The process of employment at all stages from recruitment to redundancy can be easy, but when people and the UK legal system become involved, problems can start. As soon as you employ just one worker, you need to start the employment process in order to ensure that you comply with all the rules and regulations which make up the UK Employment Law system.
Every person you employ will have their own skills and attributes, foibles and problems which can impact your business in different ways.
Here are some examples of some questions to ask yourself in the employment process, each with legal implications:
Have you thought about exactly what job role you want a new employee to carry out? How many hours a week will he/she be required to work? How much will you offer to pay?
What sort of person would you like to employ? Someone who has lots of relevant qualifications, or someone you can train to do the job in the way you want it done?
Where will you advertise? And what will you say?
This is only the start of the employment process – while looking at these issues, you also have to take into consideration the Equality Bill, the Disability Discrimination Act, the Working Time Regulations, the National Minimum Wage.
Listed below are some of the areas of employment where record keeping is essential, either to comply with employment law, or to prove your actions if an employee takes you to Employment Tribunal.
Applicant to complete, sign and date Application Form
Not a legal requirement, but sets out terms of original offer of employment.
A contract is made when you have offered a job and the applicant arrives for work. The employer is required to give confirmation of this contract by giving a statement of terms and conditions of work to the employee within eight weeks of start date. This is a legal requirement.
Maintain a record of hours worked each week.
Record periods of sickness and whether Statutory Sick Pay has been paid.
Maintain records of holidays taken. Statutory minimum paid holiday of 5.6 weeks per annum (including bank holidays)
Ensure that you have provided suitable training for each employee to carry out the role.
Record actions taken to comply with company grievance procedure.
Warnings, investigations, meetings, leading to final dismissal following company dismissal procedure.
Fair procedures must be followed in any case of dismissal, whether for unsuitable behaviour, or redundancy.
By maintaining employment records you can ensure, and prove, that you have been compliant with your legal responsibilities as an employer.
If you are a small/medium size company, you don’t need to have an HR (Human Resources) Manager or Personnel Department to maintain employment records. But you may need a suitably qualified advisor to help you understand the legal aspects of employment.
As an employer, it can be very expensive for you to get Recruitment and employment matters wrong.
It is far cheaper to get it right, by asking for help from an adviser who is a member of the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development). Within ibd there are a number of CIPD accredited advisors who can assist you with any question you may have.