new employees

Five Duties You Have Towards New Employees

So you’re all set to take on your star applicant! You’ve registered as an employer with the government and have employer’s liability insurance in place. But what about your responsibilities towards your new employee?

You must:

Provide Them With A Written Statement of Work (Contract)

If you’re intending to employ someone for more than a month, you must provide wth a contract that includes the business’s name,  employee’s name, their job title (or a description of work) and start date, salary amount and pay date, working hours (including details about requirements to work Sundays, public holidays or overtime), place(s) of work (and employer’s address if different), notice periods, contract length and end-date (if applicable), collective agreements, pension arrangements and who to report grievances too, to complain about how a grievance is handled and how to complain about a disciplinary or dismissal decision.

It should also tell you employee where to find information on procedures for sick pay, grievances, disciplinary measures and dismissal.

The government supplies a useful template for writing contracts that you may find helpful.

Ensure You’re Offering Them the Minimum or Living Wage, As Appropriate

The minimum wage must be paid to everyone over 16 and under 25 unless they’re in a government-recognised apprenticeship, in which case special rates apply if they are under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship. Employees aged 25 or over are entitled to the National Living Wage.

This chart shows the minimum hourly rate applicable for employees in each age group as of 1st April 2016. National Minimum Wage rates change every October. National Living Wage rates change every April.

Check If You Need To Auto-Enrol Them For A Pension

The Pensions Regulator has a useful Duties Checker that allows you to check your pension-paying obligations under the auto-enrolment scheme, but generally speaking you must enrol and make an employer’s contribution for all staff aged between 22 and the State Pension age if they earn at least £10,000 a year and work in the UK. Hefty fines await employers who ignore the new pension regulations, so this isn’t a step to be ignored.

Ensure Their Working Environment Is Safe

The Health and Safety Executive have a wealth of useful advice to help you ensure that you fulfil your health and safety obligations as an employer, including a useful guide to providing a healthy working environment. 

Ensure The Hours You’re Offering Are Legal

If you’re employing someone aged 18 or over, their working hours shouldn’t average more than 48 a week over a 17 week period. Employees under 18 can’t work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week.

Once all that’s done, you can relax! You might want to show them where the kettle is too, though. And the biscuits. Every good employee deserves biscuits…


Stephanie Whalley
Serial snacker, compulsive cocktail sipper and full time wordsmith with a penchant for alliteration, all things marketing and pineapple on pizza.