Employing people - a guide for new employers
Employing people seems a perfectly straightforward matter: hire them, then set them to work, but is it so easy?
Many employers find the list of legal rights and responsibilities daunting. But complying with the law and looking after your staff will make you more efficient and more profitable.
Getting the 'people' part of your new business wrong could cost you time, money or lost profitability through:
- recruiting unsuitable employees
- inadequate training
- low morale and motivation
- high absence levels and turnover of employees
- ineffective management and supervision
- too many dismissals
- employment tribunal claims.
When you take on new staff you need to:
Know the law
For further information on the legal rights of employees visit our Advice and Guidance section or GOV.UK - Statutory Maternity Pay and Leave: employer guide.
The free, online tool the Acas Model Workplace can also help you check how effective your current policies practices are and help you avoid a workplace problem.
Sort out your employment contract
You have just two months to provide your new employee with a written statement, setting out their rights to holiday, pay, time off etc. For further information, visit:
- GOV.UK - Changing an employment contract on how to help you write an employment contract
- the 'hiring new staff' section of this site, which has a sample 'written statement of employment'.
Pay the right rates
Visit the National Minimum Wage page for the latest rates and our minimum wage calculator tool.
Recruit the right people
Have you written a job description and person specification? To find out how see our guide on 'Recruitment and induction'.
Plan training and induction
Many new recruits leave in the first few weeks because they don't feel made welcome or receive a proper induction programme. For further information see our guides on 'Recruitment and induction' and 'Front line managers'.
Be clear about discipline and grievances
In the last year Acas has helped resolve over 4,000 employment problems that were likely to result in a tribunal claim. To find out more visit our pre-claim conciliation page or for further advice on how to manage discipline and grievances see the 'Discipline and grievances at work: the Acas guide'.
Did you know that the new 'fit note' allows a GP to suggest ways for an employee to get back to work more quickly - such as working flexibly or amended duties?
Communication does not have to mean complicated strategies. It can simply be about walking the floor and holding regular team meetings. To find out more see our guide on 'Employee communications and consultation'.
Download our guide
A guide for new employers [1Mb] is available to download.
For free, confidential and impartial advice on employment law call the Acas helpline on 08457 47 47 47.
Check how good your organisation is at people management by using our free, online tool the Acas Model Workplace.