Employer Essentials – An HR checklist

Last post: Jun 9, 2023

Please see below some of the key issues that employers should be aware of to ensure compliance with current legislation and best practice.


Under the Data Protection (Charges and Information) Regulations 2018, organisations that process personal data need to pay a data protection fee to the Information Commissioner's Office unless they are exempt. Check if you need to pay a fee here: www.ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-fee/self-assessment/


This is a legal requirement under the Employers' Liability Act 1969. It's there to protect employees if they get injured or become ill as a result of working. It covers damages, compensation costs and legal fees that a current or ex-employee is entitled to as a result of illness or injury which may have been caused whilst working.


Unsuccessful candidates can make claims to Employment Tribunals if they believe they have been discriminated against during a recruitment process. Ensure that your selection procedures are objective and that you retain recruitment related documents for 6 months to be able to defend any potential claims.


These checks are a legal requirement. For British and Irish Citizens, employers must carry out right to work checks by physically meeting new employees or by using ID validation technology to check hiring documents. For individuals who are not British or Irish citizens employers can access the online Right to Work Checking Service.  For some businesses, using government-certified Identity Service Providers (IDSPs) to oversee digital right to work checks could be an option to help with this process. www.gov.uk/check-job-applicant-right-to-work


If a DBS check is relevant to the type of work that an employee will be doing, ensure the job offer/contract of employment is conditional upon receipt of a satisfactory check and consider whether the employee should be allowed to start work before the check is completed. Be clear who pays for the check – employers who foot the bill may wish to draft their documents to facilitate recouping the fee if the employee does not stay in the job for a minimum period. www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service


It is a legal requirement for employers to issue principal terms and conditions of employment on or before the first day of employment. Employers should consider having any existing contracts/statements reviewed every 2 years to ensure they are compliant with current legislation. Employers must comply with the Pensions Act 2008 in terms of minimum employer and employee contributions.


Whilst this has no legal standing, it can be useful to assess suitability for a particular role and provide an opportunity to apply different contractual terms and benefits (e.g. shorter notice period).


Employers must meet the statutory minimum requirements (5.6 weeks paid leave per annum) in line with Working Time legislation. Any 'rules' around holidays can be positioned to give a business maximum protection, flexibility, and minimise costs on termination.


Ensure these are communicated in writing to, and acknowledged by, employees. Review any policies, procedures or employee handbooks regularly to keep up to date with current legislation and best practice.


By law, employers are required to have a Health & Safety policy setting out how health and safety will be managed, who does what, when and how.  For organisations with more than 5 employees, this must be in writing. www.hse.gov.uk/simple-health-safety/index.htm


Employers must comply with their obligations in terms of statutory sickness payments and should be aware when a 'Fit Note' from a healthcare professional is required.  Best practice is to have accurate recording/tracking systems in place to capture dates/reasons and established 'trigger points' at which action may be taken. www.gov.uk/employers-sick-pay


Every employer must have them, or state that they follow the relevant Acas Code of Practice. Where possible, ensure the most senior manager(s) are not involved at an early stage of these procedures as they may be required for Appeals. When it comes to unacceptable performance/conduct, it is best to deal with issues as they arise or as soon as they become evident. Not taking action can be seen as condoning behaviour and can undermine any attempt to deal with the issue(s) on a formal basis at a later date. www.acas.org.uk/acas-code-of-practice-on-disciplinary-and-grievance-procedures


Ensure you have a fair and lawful reason for dismissal (i.e. Conduct, Capability, Redundancy, Statutory Illegality, or Some other Substantial Reason), and that a reasonable procedure is followed to avoid costly claims of unfair dismissal and/or discrimination.

With thanks to 'Employment Law in Action' for providing an insightful article on the importance of Human Resources when looking at employer essentials and allowing Choice Business Loans to share this with our customers.

If you would like assistance with Human Resources within your business, Choice Business Loans are happy to talk through your requirements and make an introduction.

Contact us at 01494 410125 or email: info@choicebusinessloans.co.uk