Five HR tips for small businesses

Five HR tips for small businesses

All business need some form of HR support, regardless if you have existing employees or if you want your business to grow by employing your first employee.

Human Resources can be a real obstacle and its often difficult to know where to even start. If HR issues spiral out of control they can have huge costs and take a lot of time away from focussing efforts on what means most to you, your business.

Did you know the average cost of an employment tribunal in the UK costs £8,500? Here are some tips to help prevent your business ending up with such costs.

Five HR tips for small businesses

To help you understand what you should be aware of HR wise, Anna Ives from HR Puzzle an independent consultant, based in Stevenage, Herts has put together these 5 top tips.

Tip 1 – Have at least a statement of particulars

Did you know you must at the very least have a statement of particulars in place as soon as you employee someone? Ideally you should have a full contract, which also shows your business as more experienced employer.

If you are a new business wanting to employee at least one person, did you know you must provide them with at least a Written Statement of Particulars within 8 weeks of starting with you legally?

The statement should cover the name of the employer/ employee/ date of employment/ payment/ conditions of work/ holiday entitlement/ job title and place of work to name a few.

Tip 2 – The employee handbook

An employee handbook is a great document including policies and procedures your employees can refer to. You should provide one to each employee containing information about your business. This can be as simple or as long as you wish. It can also include terms and conditions of employment and business rules and regulations.

Tip 3 – Be ahead of employment law changes

Every April new employment law changes and legalisation come into effect. Your business must be aware of these changes and ensure they are implemented. Some of the changes for 2017 include National minimum wages aligned, increases to statutory sick pay and (possibly) redundancy, and gender pay gap reporting.

Tip 4 – Find the right employees for your business

Recruiting can be a huge step when you haven’t employed anyone before, and even if you have it can still be a huge task.

You will also need to consider that employees move on from businesses, even if you only have one employee, people’s circumstances change, and you will need to make sure that you are prepared for change.

When recruiting ensure you define the job clearly, ensure you don’t discriminate who the job is for, write a person specification, advertise the role, then interview (at least twice!).

Tip 5 – Ensure you keep your employment documents up to date

Keeping up with employee or personnel records, is a necessity to any business. This can also help you when dealing with unexpected employee changes, such as maternity leave. You will need to calculate how much service your employee has to see if they are entitled to maternity pay. Your employee’s documents should include:

  • Personal details, name, DOB, address, qualifications, NI number, and emergency contact numbers.
  • Employment details, start date, pay, job title and date current role started.
  • Absence details, sickness, lateness, time off.
  • Disciplinary details, if there have been any- all documents
  • Training – dates and courses.
  • Accidents, if there have been any, what happened?


This is just the most basic of HR help that you need for your business. If you would like more support, then HR Puzzle are holding an evening training session on Basic HR training -How HR can be the missing piece in your business” on Tuesday 16th May 2017. You can book tickets here, hurry as they are selling out fast only 20 spaces .

If you are unable to make this session, please contact Anna direct on 07960113252 to discuss how HR Puzzle can be the missing piece in your business.

Categorised in: ,