SMEs get hiring toolkit

POSTED: 18th April 2013
IN: Guides

For small business owners throughout the country who are panicking about the prospect of taking on their first employee, help has arrived from the government, with a new online toolkit designed to show them the way.

The initiative, launched earlier this week by employment relations minister Jo Swinson, assists small and micro business leaders through the hiring process and includes a comprehensive list of important information.

This includes topics such as getting the right insurance, setting the correct level of pay, understanding tax requirements and checking a potential candidate's legal right to work in the UK.

It became necessary to create the toolkit following the publication of responses to a survey called the Red Tape Challenge, taken by SME owners in 2011, that found the vast majority were daunted by the prospect of taking on new staff.

The toolkit is an update from a similar initiative launched a year ago with the same purpose, entitled 'Employing Staff for the First Time'. While this was labelled a success, it is hoped even more confused small business owners seek out the relevant help they need before potentially incurring massive fines from the government and HM Revenue & Customs.

"For some businesses there is a perception that hiring for the first time is a daunting process," said Ms Swinson. "This is especially the case if you are the owner of a small business and do not have your own HR staff."

Lindsay Melvin, chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals, was also quick to praise the update, describing it as a "useful resource" that will help business leaders understand the hiring process for years to come.

For something as important as taking on an employee, SME owners would be wise to ensure they have got the process correct, particularly as their financial standing could take a beating if expensive mistakes are made.

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