Can I have a business energy contract if I work from home?
The gig economy is showing no signs of slowing down and micro businesses are thriving, with 76% of UK business...Read More
But taking on an employee for the first time brings a number of obligations: these include initial steps such as drawing up a job spec and agreeing a contract of employment, as well as ongoing issues like running a staff payroll.
The first step is finding the right employee: you may already know who you want to take on, but if you don’t you will have to create a job description and advertise for candidates.
Whoever you end up employing, lay down a clear job specification.
You also need to decide on salary, hours and benefits such as holidays. Employees must be paid at least the minimum wage, currently £6.50 an hour for those aged 21 and above, and get at least 28 days’ holiday a year (although this can include bank holidays).
There are certain things you must do when you employ someone for the first time.
• Provide a written contract of employment, which should include the name of your firm and the worker, their job title and a description of their duties, their start date, annual salary, hours and place of work, paid holiday entitlement as well as other aspects such as pension if applicable.
• Make background checks. It is up to you to make sure the person you hire has the right to work in the UK: you can check online to find out what documentation you should ask for.
In some types of work, for example involving children or security, you may need to make a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (formerly known as a Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) check).
• Register as an employer with HM Revenue & Customs.
This can be done online here and the process – which can take a couple of weeks – should be completed before the first payday.
• Get employers’ liability insurance. This covers you for any accidents at work, or any illness that results from the work your employee carries out.
The biggest ongoing headache of being an employer is likely to be running your staff payroll.
Provided your worker or workers earn more than a certain minimum level, you will have to register for the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system, which allows tax and national insurance to be collected by HMRC.
Employers must now report pay and tax details to tax officials every month, although this requirement is relaxed for smaller employers.
You can use a payroll software package or outsource your payroll requirements to a third party provider if they are particularly onerous.
Taking on staff isn’t the only way to get outside help.
Tony Harrison runs his own recruitment consultancy from home in Brighton, and last year wanted to expand the business.
“I needed someone to help me in the day-to-day running of the firm, but I wasn’t in a position to employ someone full-time,” he says.
“Becoming an employer is a big step in terms of the responsibilities you have – not just in terms of red tape but also on a personal level. It would also mean getting an office, for example.”
Harrison instead found a contractor to work remotely for a fixed period. He also outsources his IT systems.
“At some point in the near future I will want to take the next step and start employing staff in earnest,” he says. “But I am not quite ready to do that at the moment.”
"Very easy. Bea Luseni very efficient & knowledgeable."This review was posted by Alan Duffy on the 31st of March 2017
Super helpful and easy to work with
"Recommend this company in a heartbeat - Nicole Borneuf was super easy to talk to, was not pushy in the slightest, very helpful and replied with all my questions very professionally and did all she could to help. I had to deal with a few companies to sort my business energy out, all but Nicole were too pushy for my liking and I refused to follow through with them. Thank Nicole - you are a credit to your company, thank you for making the stressful energy change so easy."This review was posted by Mia Drew on the 29th of March 2017
An Extremely Competent Company
"Switch my business has not only helped my SME secure a good energy deal for the second year running but Jessica swiftly found a alternative supplier for me when I was let down on the day of switching by the new contractual provider I had chosen some 4 months previously. Being suddenly out of contract and without provider is everyone's energy nightmare. Greatest thanks."This review was posted by S McMillan on the 29th of March 2017
Helpful, friendly and we saved lots of money!
"Jessica Purnell was helpful and friendly, she made the whole process easy and simple AND we saved lots of money thanks Jess"This review was posted by Melanie Baker on the 23rd of March 2017
Quick & Easy
"Kabibi was very helpful and the whole process was very efficient. The one small reservation I had was that I was phoned up by Kabibi almost immediately having received my online quote - which wasn't enough time for me to finish reading the quotes! Fortunately she was able to assist me in a greater savings on both Gas & Electricity, and so as long as the switchover is seamless I will remain very happy with the service."This review was posted by Amanda Brown on the 21st of March 2017