By Daniel Hunter

A new online toolkit has been launched today (Wednesday) by Employment Relations Minister Norman Lamb, which provides first-time employers with a step-by-step guide through their obligations when taking on a member of staff.

The Taking on an Employee toolkit, found on the Business Link website, takes employers through the process of hiring their first member of staff and explains their core legal obligations when doing so. This includes information on setting pay, getting the right insurance, understanding tax requirements and checking a new employee’s right to work in the UK.

Feedback from the employment theme of the Red Tape Challenge suggested that the current guidance was too complex, that the information on how to do this was not readily available and that it was unclear as to where to find this. This toolkit combats these problems by clearly outlining what an employer must do, why they must do it and how they can take the action to comply.

“For many one-person businesses there is a belief that the process for taking on their first member of staff can be a daunting and overly complicated process,” Norman Lamb said.

“And with no one easily accessible source of guidance it can really feel burdensome. The Taking on an Employee toolkit aims to tackle this problem and will help empower our sole-traders, our one person businesses, to take that next step.

“The Red Tape Challenge and the online toolkit we are launching today are just two of the many measures we are taking to tackle employment regulation and to make sure it doesn’t act as a deterrent in hiring staff. If we can provide the advice and information in a simple format, showing first-time employers that taking on staff can be a simple process, this will ultimately help in our efforts in creating jobs and encouraging growth.”

Sector champion for the employment law theme of the Red Tape Challenge, Steve Sharratt said:

“This is the first step in a whole new online service for small businesses, which is based upon the requirement to make life easier for business. It’s simple really, if compliance is made easier, we can focus more on growing our businesses and then everyone wins.”

In addition, a mythbusters document has been published alongside the online toolkit for first-time employers which aims to address some common misconceptions about hiring a member of staff. This document includes helpful advice on registering with HMRC, anti-discrimination laws, dismissal rules, setting up payrolls and probation periods. Also available from the site will be information about Government support, financial and otherwise, to encourage employers to take on their first employee.

This year the Government is running the Business in You campaign to encourage more people to start or grow their business throughout 2012 using a range of existing support services. More information is available here.

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