Starting up your own company is an exciting time, and you can get carried away focussing on more interesting decisions such as premises, staff, product lines, advertising and marketing etc. However, something that needs serious consideration at the same time is Health and Safety. As an employer you have a legal responsibility to protect the health and safety of your staff and other people – such as customers and members of the public – who may be affected by their work.

Health and Safety is a minefield of laws and regulations, some of which will apply to your business and others that won’t. It is not possible to cover everything that you will need to consider in this factsheet, however we can give you the starting point as set down by the Health and Safety Executive, which is the national independent watchdog for work-related health, safety and illness.

TOP TEN THINGS TO DO AT THE OUTSET

  1. Register your new business: You need to determine whether you are obliged to notify the Health and Safety Executive or your local authority about your business.
  2. Take out Employer's Liability Compulsory Insurance: This will cover you against claims from employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their work.
  3. Appoint a competent person: The law says you must appoint a competent person to help you meet your health and safety duties.
  4. Write your health and safety policy: This is a very important document and should set out the arrangements you have put in place for managing health and safety in your business.
  5. Conduct a risk assessment: Decide what could harm people and what precautions to take, including equipment and protective clothing. You must act on these findings, by putting sensible controls in place to prevent accidents and ill health and making sure they are followed.
  6. Provide basic welfare facilities: This includes toilets, washing facilities and drinking water, and appropriate lighting and temperature. You also need to include first-aid facilities.
  7. Provide free health and safety training and supervision: Everyone who works for you needs to know how to work safely and without risks to health, so you need to train them and supervise their work.
  8. Consult your workers: This means discussing health and safety with your workers allowing them to raise concerns and influence decisions.
  9. Display the health and safety law poster: This is required by law, and includes basic health and safety information and lets people know who is responsible for health and safety in your workplace. Alternatively, you can provide them with this information in leaflet form.
  10. Understand RIDDOR reporting procedures: The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR), require you to report work-related accidents, diseases and near-miss incidents.

The Health and Safety Executive’s website is a good place to start if you’re just looking for some additional general information – www.hse.gov.uk. However, should you need something a bit more specific, such as drafting your Health and Safety policy.

 

Employment checklist

When starting up your own company, you may at some point, need to think about recruiting employees. This is a big step for any business and needs to be given careful consideration. How many employees do you think you will need? Will they be full time or part time or a combination? Permanent or fixed-term?

When starting up your own company, you may at some point, need to think about recruiting employees. This is a big step for any business and needs to be given careful consideration. How many employees do you think you will need? Will they be full time or part time or a combination? Permanent or fixed-term?

Whichever route you go down, one thing is certain, all employees will need to be given a written statement of employment particulars, referred to as a contract of employment. This is a legal requirement under section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, and must be done within 2 months of your employees starting their employment.

The following checklist is a guide to what must be covered in order for you to meet your legal obligations.The written statement must detail the following:

  • Name of the employer and name of the employee;
  • Job title and description of work;
  • Date employment is to commence or the date on which employee’s period of employment began;
  • Scale and rate of remuneration (wages/commission/bonus scheme etc);
  • The intervals at which remuneration will be paid;
  • Terms and conditions relating to hours;
  • Terms and conditions relating to holidays;
  • Terms and conditions relating to incapacity;
  • Terms and conditions relating to any pension scheme;
  • The period of notice the employee is entitled to give and receive when terminating employment;
  • Whether the role is permanent, and if not, then the term of the role;
  • Place of work and address of employer;
  • Any collective agreements (workforce agreements usually between an employer and a trade union) which directly affect the terms and conditions of employment; Whether the employee is required to work outside of the UK for a period of more than one month and the terms on which this is done; and
  • Any disciplinary and grievance procedures applicable to the employee or alternatively, a clause informing the employee how to get access to the disciplinary and grievance procedures.

You can also include information such as company benefits, pay review details, garden leave or clauses to protect confidential information and intellectual property although this is not obligatory.

Get in touch for help with drafting your employment contracts, or simply to get some more information.

 

Health and safety checklist

Starting up your own company is an exciting time, and you can get carried away focussing on more interesting decisions such as premises, staff, product lines, advertising and marketing etc. However, something that needs serious consideration at the same time is Health and Safety. As an employer you have a legal responsibility to protect the health and safety of your staff and other people – such as customers and members of the public – who may be affected by their work.

 

 

We have legal experts near you

If you need legal advice, contact us and one of our experts will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Complete the short enquiry form for a no obligation response.

0114 218 4000

info@tayloremmet.co.uk

We have branch offices in Sheffield City Center, Dronfield, Ecclesall, Bakewell and Rotherham.

 

Lexcel - Legal Practice Quality Mark