Taking on an employee

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As you progress through your contracting career, there may come a time when you need to take on an employee. Although many contractors have had managers during their time as a “permie”, they probably won’t have any experience being somebody else’s boss.

To help, we’ve outlined 4 tips on becoming a professional employer:

Employment Checks

When taking on an employee, it’s crucial that you carry out the necessary employment checks. Investigate the candidate’s legal right to work in the UK and, depending on the role, conduct a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check.

Legal Requirements

Now that you’re an employer, there are several steps you need to follow to avoid any legal issues. Some of the requirements you will have to consider are:

  • Employers’ liability insurance – this will help you to pay staff compensation if they become injured or ill while working for you
  • Register as an employer – you must register as an employer with HMRC up to four weeks before you start paying your employee
  • Pay a fair rate – what you pay your employee is up to you, but it must at least match the National Minimum Wage depending on their age and employment status

Management Skills

Immediately establishing an appropriate employer-employee relationship will help your management career get off to a good start. Build an open line of communication so they feel comfortable speaking to you about any issues they have with their assignment. Offer regular feedback and don’t be scared to discipline your employee if necessary.

Find the right candidate

Even if you have immediate deadlines, take time to search for the perfect employee. This avoids wasting time replacing incompetent workers.

You should also advertise the role using your own website, online job boards, local job centres and through your contacts thereby casting your net as far as possible. When your receive applications, ensure you thoroughly go through the CVs and match their skills to your criteria list.

Have your say

Have you taken on an employee before? What was your experience? Do you have any other tips? Join in the discussion on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

Clearsky Contractor Accounting Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Jelf Insurance Brokers Ltd who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).