We think that many of you will be pleasantly surprised to know that initally your legal obligations to your employees are not as complex or burdensome as you might think.

  • You must provide a written Employment Contract (sometimes referred to as a Statement of Key Terms and Conditions of Employment) within 8 weeks of someone starting work, containing the information and meeting the requirements within the Employment Rights Act 1996. It would be good practice to have this ready for their first day though as in April 2020 the law will be changing and employees will have to receive their contract no later than their first date of employment
  • This Contract should refer to disciplinary and grievance procedures, so you need to have these too
  • Each employee must receive a copy of your Privacy Notice so that they know exactly what you will do with their personal data and who it will be shared with
  • You must pay your employee the agreed amount at the agreed times, and provide a pay slip each time you do so, detailing payments and deductions – you must also report your payroll to the HMRC under the Real Time Information (RTI) requirements
  • You are required to comply with the relevant Health & Safety regulations for your industry and relevant to the number of people you employ http://www.hse.gov.uk/workers/index.htm
  • Both you and your employee must meet your duty to each other of “mutual trust and confidence” which essentially means you must treat each other respectfully
  • Your employee has the right not to be discriminated against so you must comply with the relevant provisions in the Equality Act 2010
  • You must comply with regulations regarding dismissal so that you do not unfairly dismiss an employee
  • Your employee will be entitled to statutory sick pay if they meet the eligibility criteria
  • Your employee is also entitled a minimum statutory 5.6 weeks holiday each year, which includes all usual Bank Holidays in England and Wales and is calculated pro-rata for part time staff
  • You will need to set up a pension scheme that complies with the auto-enrolment requirements under the Pensions Act 2008

Of course, there are many other statutory requirements that you may need to comply with during the course of employing someone, such as rights regarding maternity, which we’ll come to at a later date.  We have outlined your initial obligations in terms of the documents, policies and procedures you need to have in place from the beginning of employment.

The above is a very brief summary of your key obligations; it is not intended as legal advice and should be used for guidance purposes only.  If you want more detailed guidance about employing staff or if you currently have a particular challenge you would like help with contact us today

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