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If you are an individual employer who employs personal assistants (PA’s) for help around the house, personal care or getting involved in the community; employment law still applies. No matter how big or small your team of employees, you must still follow employment legislation. Below are the four main topics we feel you need to know:
Recruitment is something every employer goes through and we believe that this is the hardest yet most important part of being an employer. Recruiting the right person for the job as opposed to recruiting the wrong person can make your life a lot easier down the line. This is even more evident with smaller employers as you may only have one or two employee’s and if one or both are becoming a problem then things could become quite stressful. Most employers employing a large team can usually work around the not so helpful members of staff. We have noted down a list of do’s and don’ts to help when it comes to recruiting staff.
- Go into as much detail as possible regarding the job role when advertising. This will help get the right people applying for the role and save wasting your time.
- Prepare a set of relevant questions before interviews and make sure each interview is consistent
- Interview more than once if required
- Hire someone because you feel obliged e.g. friend, family – this could cause problems later on in the employment; hire the person you think is right for the job.
- Rush your decision – If no applicant is suitable for the job look at re-advertising. It’s better to do this rather than recruit the wrong person.
- Pre Judge or Discriminate – Get in contact with your local support team or employers liability insurance company for advice
Once you have recruited the right person for the job to establish a professional working relationship it is imperative that you make your new employee aware of any rules you have e.g. what to do if he/she is going to be late. You must also issue your new employee with a written employment contract within 2 months of their start date. Template contracts are available ————–
Another really useful tool to use is an employee handbook, however this is not a legal requirement. The handbook will include many things which are not in an employment contract but can be key in maintaining a healthy professional working relationship. Your local support team and employers liability insurance company can support you to put together bespoke employment contracts and employee handbooks upon request.
There is nothing worse than doing a job but not knowing whether you are meeting expectations or not.
We have found that one of the most common reasons for an employee to leave has been down to a breakdown in communication between employer and employee. The true reason for the breakdown is often something insignificant that wasn’t initially addressed allowing it to snowball into something much larger. Below are some top tips which have been provided by our specialist employment law team to help:
- Make sure to issue an employment contract and employee handbook to assist with setting out the rules.
- Be respectful of your employees’ thoughts and feelings.
- Flexibility from time to time helps a good working relationship, but don’t be a push over.
- Hold Informal but regular 1-2-1’s.
- Don’t leave things to fester.
- Don’t ever get aggressive try to remain calm at all times.
- Always be approachable.
Employer’s Liability Insurance
It is a legal requirement to have employer’s liability insurance (ELI). Employer’s liability is there to protect you should any of your employees seek compensation in result of an injury they have acquired at work.
There are many ELI companies in the market however very few are tailored in a way to suit people employing staff in their own homes. We have developed a policy which not only covers an employer’s legal minimum requirement but also provides a free employment/legal advice line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Over the years the feedback we receive clearly demonstrates how essential this support can be when things do occasionally become difficult.
Key benefits to make sure are included in your policy
- Employers Liability (£5million minimum)
- Public Liability
- 24/7 Employment Law Helpline
- Legal Expenses & Compensation Awards
- Personal Accident Cover
- Redundancy Cover
- Pension Cover