First published: 06/09/2022
Last updated: 06/09/2022
So, you’ve made your hire. It’s your new starter’s first week on the job and you want to help them settle in.
To make sure your new recruit hits the ground running, we’ve outlined a few HR best practices that will help your employment relationship start on the right note…
1. Prepare an informative induction
Your new starter should have an induction in the first week of starting their new job. An induction involves telling your employee how your company works and starting them off with some on the job activities to complete.
The induction process is an opportunity to show your new employee how your business works and the benefits they’ll enjoy while working for you.
As part of the induction, you can:
- touch on the vision, goals, and history of your business
- run over the duties and expectations of the role again, and
- outline opportunities for training and development.
Sharing this information will help your new starter settle into their role and start contributing straight away.
You could also use the first number of days to arrange meetings with other members of your team. On their first day particularly, your new starter might be nervous when they don’t know anyone.
Introductions don’t have to be formal or take up much time – but they can really help make new staff feel welcome and part of the team.
2. Record their information
As soon as they start, you’ll need to record your new worker’s personal information. This allows you to create a personnel file for them, which you can refer to and update when necessary.
Your new starter might need to provide their:
- date of birth
- bank account details
- home address
- PPS number
- emergency contact details
- confirmation of termination of any previous employment
You need these details to:
- know who to contact if there’s an incident or injury
- notify the Revenue about the new employment
- keep an accurate personnel file for your new hire
Also, having a record of your employee’s information makes it easy for you to find details about them and their role, so you can keep track of their progress.
Many employers are using HR software to record this information as efficiently as possible. HR software stores keeps staff records online, which is far more secure and easier to manage than storing endless amounts of paperwork.
Plus, your staff have the option to update their own records – which frees up your time to focus on making your business a success.
3. Sign the employment contract
Recording your worker’s information is just part one of the HR documentation process.
Perhaps the most important paperwork involved with a new hire is the contract of employment. As an employer, you have a legal duty to make sure your employee has received certain information in writing.
There are also different time limits for different terms that must be provided in writing so it’s a good idea to tick all these boxes on the employee’s first day.
Your first legal requirement is to provide the new starter with a five-day statement no later than five days after they start work.
The five-day statement needs to include the following five core terms of employment in writing:
- names of the employer and employee
- address of the employer
- duration of the contract (if temporary, the expected duration and if fixed-term, the date of expiry)
- rate or method of calculation of pay/remuneration and the pay reference period for the purposes of the National Minimum Wage Act 2000
- number of hours the employee will be expected to work on a typical day and week
Your next legal obligation is to provide a statement of main terms of employment. This document needs to be provided no later than two months after the new starter begins work with you.
This document should include the following terms:
- principal place of work
- job title or nature of the work (such as a brief job description)
- commencement date
- pay intervals (for example, weekly or monthly)
- any terms or conditions relating to hours of work (such as overtime)
- details of paid leave, including annual leave and public holiday entitlements
- details of sick pay (to include new statutory sick pay obligations)
- details of any pension operated by your business
- notice periods to be given by employer or employee
- details of any collective agreements that may affect the new hire’s employment (an employment regulation order or sectoral employment order for instance)
The best way to meet all these legal obligations is to include all this information in your employee’s contract of employment. Ideally, you should provide a copy of the contract before your new hire starts allowing them to review the details and raise any queries.
Once you’re both happy with the details, you should ask the employee to provide a signed copy of the contract either before they start or on their first day. This will demonstrate that you have complied with all legal obligations to provide the terms of employment mentioned above in writing and within the prescribed time limits.
4. Present your policies
Next, you’ll need to provide information about your company policies.
It’s best practice to share your company policies with your new starter by providing a copy of your company handbook.
Starting with health & safety, all employers must have an up-to-date risk assessment. You must also have a safety statement based on this risk assessment.
Your handbook should also include policies that outline your:
- disciplinary procedures – how you handle staff misconduct
- grievance procedures – how staff can report concerns or issues
While employment policies need to be suited to the type of business you run, it’s a good idea to have up to date policies on:
- dress codes
- equality & diversity
- sickness and absence
- maternity/paternity/adoptive/parental/parent’s and other family friendly policies
- data protection
- bullying and harassment
Policies establish rules and boundaries. They help ensure that any staff issues are handled consistently and make sure there’s no confusion over conduct. Strong policies reduce the risk of grievances, injuries, or other legal difficulties arising. And if difficulties do arise, the policies will also help resolve them.
5. Provide health & safety training
Injuries suffered by staff at work are a big concern for employers. If an employee suffers an injury at work and you haven’t complied with health & safety law, you could find yourself facing a costly employee claim.
Health & safety training is crucial to reduce the risk of staff injuring themselves at work.
How much training do you need to provide? Well, it depends on what you do.
If you work in a high-risk environment, like a construction site or factory, you’ll likely need more safety procedures and training in place. If you work in a lower-risk environment like an office, then providing some simple instructions and information might suffice.
The main things to cover in health & safety training are:
- hazards and risks in your workplace
- the measures you have in place to manage these risks
- fire safety training
- the steps your workers should take in an emergency your arrangements for first aid, fire, and evacuation
Need help with your induction?
An induction process is a great opportunity to help your new employee settle straight into your business.
It takes a bit of work to get the right paperwork together and to map out the best way to complete the induction, but the benefits are worth it.
Peninsula’s HR and health & safety experts have years of experience overseeing induction processes, drafting employment contracts and compiling employee handbooks for a wide range of businesses.
Your trusty HR and health & safety experts are on hand to provide you with ready-made policies and documents - so, you have all the protection and none of the responsibility.