Whether you have a small business and are just about to recruit your first employees or run an established business and are looking to expand, making sure that you comply with the recruitment elements of employment law is vital and could help to protect you from employment disputes in the future. In this article, we look at how an employment solicitor can help you when you are recruiting new staff.
Whether you are advertising a job in a newspaper, on your website or via the Job Centre, it’s important to make sure that you comply with the relevant recruitment laws. For example, the job that you’re advertising must pay at least the National Minimum Wage and the hours that you expect your new employee to work must be in accordance with working times legislation.
It’s also important to ensure that the wording of your advert doesn’t discriminate, for example, on the basis of age, gender or race. Occasionally occupational requirements mean that that a vacancy is only suitable for a certain group of people, but exceptions are rare and it’s important to make sure that you take professional advice before advertising this type of vacancy.
An employment solicitor will be able to help you to ensure that the terms of vacancy which you are advertising and the wording of your advertisement comply with the law.
You must also ensure that you follow the correct procedures when selecting your new member of staff. There are a range of legal issues to bear in mind when designing your selection procedure. For example, you need to ensure that the questions you ask when interviewing potential employees or any tests that you ask them to complete are directly relevant to the position for which they are applying and are not discriminatory in any way. If you need to ask job applicants about their health, you must also ensure that you follow the correct legal procedures.
An employment solicitor will be able to inform you about recruitment laws relating to employee selection and help you to produce any necessary documentation or interview questions.
Offer and rejection letters
Once you have selected your new employee, you will need to write to them to confirm your job offer. You will also need to let any other candidates know that they have not been successful. The content and wording of these letters are important and badly worded letters could cause issues in the future, so it’s worth asking an employment solicitor to help you to draft these letters.
Contracts of Employment
Finally, a new employee must receive a contract of employment. This will inform your employee of their rights and responsibilities, as well as your rights and responsibilities as their employer. It should include details such as the hours that the employee must work, the duties that the job includes, their leave entitlement and the amount of notice you require from them if they want to leave and that you will give them should you need to end their contract. The contract of employment is one of the most important documents that you will produce for your employees, so it’s worth asking an employment solicitor for advice when you are producing it.
You can hire an employment solicitor on a case by case basis if you are only likely to be hiring employees occasionally. However, if you are likely to be taking on new staff regularly, it’s worth considering keeping your solicitor on a retainer, so that you can use their services whenever you need to.