Business Essentials – Advertorial

Ivelina White

The process of setting up your business can be overwhelming, as well as the long list of requirements you have to adhere to before even starting to employ people. Ivelina White, Paralegal at Coodes Solicitors, shares her top five tips to help guide new employers through this.

  1. Register as an employer and set up payroll

When you start employing staff, you need to register with the HMRC (not more than 2 months before you start paying people). You can run payroll by yourself or engage the services of a payroll bureau or an accountant. If you choose to do this yourself, make sure you choose the appropriate payroll software and follow HMRC’s guidance.

  1. Get Employers’ Liability Insurance

As soon as you become an employer, it’s mandatory to get Employers’ Liability Insurance. The policy must be obtained from an authorised insurer and provide cover for at least £5 million.

  1. Register with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO)

Under the Data Protection Act 2018, organisations processing personal information are required to pay a data protection fee unless they are exempt. If you are in any doubt about whether you need to register with the ICO and pay the fee, you can easily check by using the registration self-assessment tool on the ICO’s website (Registration self-assessment | ICO).

  1. Get your documents right

Make sure you have employment contracts, policies and handbooks drafted so that you and your employees know where everyone stands.

The employment contract must contain a written “Statement of Employment Particulars” which should include basic information such as job title, duration of employment, salary, notice periods, etc. It’s recommended that you check the Government’s website when drafting your contracts. Make sure that you understand the National Minimum Wage, National Living Wage and check your responsibility for workplace pensions.

Many businesses use employment policies as tools for achieving compliance with legal requirements and creating a secure workplace environment. There are only three employment policies required by law:

  • Health and safety policy;
  • Disciplinary and dismissal policy; and
  • Grievance policy.

There are many more policies which could be implemented to suit your needs. These could be included in an Employee/Staff Handbook which is a great way to set out the employer’s policies, procedures and rules and also outline what is expected of you as, an employer, and of your employees.

Having all necessary legal documents in place is a strong foundation for building a secure, productive and enjoyable working environment which would benefit everyone involved.

  1. Stay up to date with the current legislation

Employment law is dynamic and ever-changing and complying with all the legal requirements could be challenging. You should regularly check if you are compliant and update your employment documents accordingly. Furthermore, making sure that your documents reflect the needs of your employees will guarantee not only a legally compliant but also a fair and efficient working place. In the long run, this could significantly reduce the risk of legal disputes.

Bonus Tip:

If you’re struggling with preparing your legal documents, do not hesitate to contact an employment lawyer who can provide advice and assist with drafting. The Employment Team at Coodes is available for any questions that you might have. We appreciate that sometimes, even if your paperwork is compliant and up-to-date, disputes can arise and we’re here to help and guide you in what can be a lengthy and challenging process.

You can contact Ivelina at 01872 246237 or