As your business expands you may decide that you need extra help or people with specific skills to help you run your business and it might be necessary to take on employees.

Employing Staff

A step by step guide Get your business ready to employ staff is available from GOV.UK.

You will have to register as an employer with HMRC if you want to employ people, even if you’re a sole trader.

A step by step guide Employing staff for the first time is available from GOV.UK.

Legal Responsibilities

To find out about contract types and your legal responsibilities as an employer, including pay, tax and insurance, follow this link.

National Living Wage & Minimum Wage

By law you must pay your employees the National Minimum Wage which will depend on their age and status.

The National Living Wage is higher than the National Minimum Wage - workers get it if they’re over 23. It was introduced by the government from 1st April 2016 and will increase the living wage every year.

More information is available on the MAG - The National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage 

Flexible Working Hours

If you employ people you need to be aware that all employees have the right to request flexible working to and you must know how to deal with any such requests from employees.

More information on flexible working can be found at the following links:

EMI Share Option Scheme

Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) schemes are designed to help small, higher risk companies recruit and retain employees by offering them share options as a reward for their efforts within the business and to retain and incentivise key staff.

Your company must meet the following criteria:

  • The total value of the company’s gross assets must not exceed £30 million.
  • The company must be a trading company (i.e. not an investment company).
  • The company must not be a subsidiary of or controlled by another company, however, parent companies can qualify for EMI.
  • There must be fewer than 250 employees at the date the EMI options are granted.

Full details of EMI are available from GOV.UK.

A guide, “A Simple Guide to Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI)” is available from Accountancy Cloud.

Dismissing Staff

During the course of your business, you may be required to dismiss an employee.

When dismissing an employee it is important that you fulfil certain requirements to make sure that the dismissal is fair in law otherwise you may be liable to face a claim from your employee for unfair dismissal.

You must give your employee the correct notice as contained in their contract of employment before dismissing them. In the absence of a notice period an employee is entitled to a minimum statutory notice period, based on their length of service, as follows:

  • Less than 1 month  - No notice period, though the employee is entitled to “reasonable” notice, which will often be based on how often they are paid
  • One month or more - One week's notice
  • Two years or more - Two week's notice
  • Every additional year beyond two years - One additional week’s notice, up to a maximum of 12 weeks

Detailed information and guidelines for dismissing staff are available from GOV.UK.

Further information is available at the following links:

Making Redundancies

No employer likes making redundancies but there may come a time where your business needs a smaller workforce or a particular job is no longer needed and redundancies become necessary.

When making an employee redundant there are certain steps that you must follow and certain rights that the employee is entitled to.

Detailed information and guidelines for making an employee redundant are available from GOV.UK.

Further information is available at the following links:

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