People and Skills

Take On And Develop Employees

I plan to take on employees. What do I need to know?
Becoming an employer is incredibly satisfying. You’ll be providing people and the people that depend on them with a livelihood, as well as generating more money in the economy for the good of the country. Before you take on staff, you’ll need to consider the following things:

  • Deciding how much to pay
    This must be at least the national minimum wage.
  • Employment checks, including the right to work in the UK
  • If you need to check if the applicant has criminal convictions
  • Purchasing employers’ liability insurance
  • Creating a written statement of employment
  • Registering as an employer
  • Setting up payroll and PAYE
  • If you need to provide a workplace pension

This website has more details about taking on staff for the first time. For more information about payroll and PAYE for employers please click here. HMRC also offers a range of online resources, including an online course for new employers plus you can subscribe to the HMRC YouTube channel for the latest video guides.

What else should I consider?
Becoming an employer is a great way of developing your own skills as well as those of the people you employ. If your business meets the High Growth eligibility criteria here, you might be able to secure a place on the Berkshire Business Accelerator at Henley Business School. The subsidised course will help you to develop leadership and management skills commensurate with your ambition. You should also think about how to get the best out of the people you employ. Investing in workplace training can often help your business develop an advantage over competitors, as well as aiding staff retention and thereby reducing recruitment costs.

Apprentices

I’d like to take on an apprentice. The headlines are:

  • Apprentices can be up to level 6 & 7 - first or higher degree level
  • Open to all - new and current employees can be apprentices
  • There's no upper age limit - anyone aged 16 or over can be an apprentice
  • Up to £1,500 grant for small business 
  • Elevate Me Berkshire is the place for 16-24 year olds in Berkshire to get help, advice and support on employment, work experience, volunteering and mentoring.

Enterprise Advisers working with Schools and Colleges

  • Thames Valley Berkshire LEP and The Careers & Enterprise Company are working in partnership to deliver the flagship Enterprise Adviser Network in Berkshire. Research from the Education & Employers Taskforce and other sources shows that young people who have a greater exposure to employers whilst at school, achieve better employment outcomes. The initiative brings together ‘Enterprise Advisers’ who will work one-to-one with school and college leaders, helping them to develop effective employer engagement plans, drawing on existing, local business networks.

Where can I find more information?

This website includes information for employers and this one gives an overview of what you need to know to employ an apprentice. In Berkshire there are a number of suppliers of apprenticeship courses including BCA, Bracknell & Wokingham College, East Berkshire College, Newbury College, Reading CollegeWest Berkshire Training Consortium & Activate Enterprise