How to Hire Employees Quickly?
When looking to take on staff, many steps need to be taken before the new employee can begin work. One of the best ways to get through the hiring process quickly is organisation. From identifying the business’s hiring needs to finding the right people to ensuring the business is properly insured, the process can be lengthy from start to finish without a plan in place.
Top tips for hiring:
- Identify the hiring needs of the business,
- Work out the ideal candidate for the role,
- Plan the interviews in advance,
- Carry out the necessary checks, such as DBS,
- Get employers’ liability insurance quotes and buy a policy, or expand an existing policy to reflect the addition to staff,
- Send the terms of the employment contract to the new member of staff,
- Enrol workers in the workplace pension scheme,
- If it is the first time the business has employed staff, then it must register with the HMRC as an employer.
There are different rules depending on the type of employment contract. Here is a high-level overview:
- Full-time and part-time employees on a fixed-term contract are entitled to paid leave, sick pay, rest breaks, maternity, paternity and adoption pay, and an employment contract or statement. They must also be paid at least the minimum wage, provided a safe place of work, covered by employers’ liability insurance, requested flexible working, registered with the HMRC, and have their workplace altered if they are disabled. They may also qualify to have a workplace pension.
- Agency staff are entitled to the same working time regulations as permanent employees, but it is the agency’s responsibility to ensure these are adhered to. The business is responsible for sick pay and National Insurance contributions, though these are paid to the agency. After 12 weeks, agency staff are entitled to the same pay and annual leave as permanent staff. A business is normally required to have employers’ liability insurance for agency staff.
- Freelancers, contractors and consultants do not necessarily have the same rights as permanent workers on a fixed contract, and they are not required to be covered by employers’ liability insurance. Instead, national insurance and tax are their responsibility.
- Zero-contract hours staff are not legally entitled to any set hours but are entitled to annual leave and minimum wage. Therefore, they qualify to be covered by employers’ liability insurance.
- Relatives of the business owner do not require employers’ liability insurance unless it is a limited company. Still, they cannot be given special treatment when it comes to pay, promotions or working conditions.
- Volunteers are normally covered by an existing employers’ liability policy.
- Under 18s, but over the age of 13, can be hired but are not allowed to work during school hours and must have two weeks off work during the school holidays. Employers need a permit from the council to employ under 18s, and they are entitled to both redundancy and maternity pay.
What is an employers’ liability insurance certificate?
When a business has an employers’ liability insurance policy, there is a certificate to act as written proof of the policy. The certificate includes the level of cover, insurance provider and company name.
The certificate must be displayed where the employees can see it. This used to be on an office wall, but this can now be on a company intranet as long as staff are made aware of how to access it.
If a business fails to provide proof to a health and safety executive that the policy is visible to all employees, it can result in a fine of £1,000.
A business found without a policy in place can be fined £2,500 per day until a policy is in place.
A database holds all the employers’ liability policies sold since 2011, called the employers’ liability insurance register.
There is no legal requirement to keep old certificates of policies, but it can be important to be able to produce them as proof of a policy if needed. For example, employees may not realise the extent of an illness or injury until a later date, at which point they may not work for the business anymore. An old certificate can be shown as proof of a policy being in place, preventing the risk of the company having to pay out compensation from its own funds.
Why is employers’ liability insurance important?
Employers’ liability insurance is an important protection for employers. If a member of staff is injured, falls ill or dies then a claim can be brought against the business. In addition, employers’ liability offers financial protection by covering the legal costs of defending against the claim and covering the compensation payments if awarded by the court.
Employers’ liability is a legal requirement for all businesses that employ staff. However, there are some exceptions and exemptions, such as a family business that employs close family members.
The Government offers detailed information about employers’ liability insurance, including who needs it, at https://www.gov.uk/employers-liability-insurance.