New Business Startups Checklist
1. Make sure that you have all the relevant insurance policies in place – by law there are certain insurances you MUST have, these include:
Employers’ Liability Insurance (if you take on any staff) - this protects you against claims for any injury caused to one of your staff as a result of working for you.
Public Liability Insurance - this protects you against claims for injury or damage caused as a result of your business, e.g. if a customer slips on your shop’s wet floor.
Other types of insurance just make good business sense depending on the type of business you run and an insurance adviser would be able to ensure your business needs are met.
2. Financial matters such as pay, pensions, National Insurance, income tax, statutory payments and company benefits need to be given thought to ensure all budgets are provided for and arrangements are paid to see that payments are made correctly and on time.
3. Recruitment of staff needs thought and planning. You need to consider what the role(s) involve that you need to recruit to (job description), what skills you need to bring to the organisation (person specification), how you are going to attract applicants to work for you (advertisement), carrying out interviews and appointing new staff.
4. Terms and conditions offered to employees – what hours employees will work, where they will work, what happens if they need to raise a grievance, notice periods, holidays and dismissal procedure information, are just some of the items that must be included in a written statement of terms and conditions. An employee is entitled to receive one within two months of starting work.
5. Make your employees feel welcome - First impressions count and the first three months of employment with a new company are important. Recruiting costs can soon mount if your employee turnover is high – and it doesn’t look too good for your business either!
6. You need clear policies and procedures for dealing with matters such as absence, holidays, maternity, retirement and discipline. Your employees need to know what is expected of them and what the organisation’s response will be in order to avoid confusion or dispute later.
7. Health & Safety law is there to make sure that your place of work is as safe as it can be. No matter what type of business you’re planning to run, you will have to comply with a number of Health & Safety Regulations e.g. those concerning fire, reporting accidents and the use of computers. If you are a specific business areas, e.g. manufacturing, there are additional Regulations that must also be adhere to.
8. As well as a safe premises, you need to consider the location and layout of your site in terms of customers/clients, workers and visitors. Access to and movement around the premises are key, not only to ensure efficient working but also to enable any disabled persons freedom to gain employment and services from your organisation unhindered. This could mean provision of clear signage, ramps, toilet facilities and lowering a reception desk so that it is more accessible for people who use wheelchairs
9. Employment law can appear a minefield, with new legislation and Regulations making it even more complex. However, ignorance is no defence and breach of health & safety law, infringement of employee rights or failure to follow statutory HR procedures and be very costly both in terms of time and money.
10. There are lots of organisations out there to help you and your business get off to the right start – liquid hr is one of them! Services supplied within the liquid hr product include unlimited access to legal and HR advisors, employment disputes insurance, an employee handbook, policies, procedures and forms, customised contract development, 24/7 online access and a complete employee database.