Employing family members

What to consider before employing family members


There are a few things to consider before deciding to employ a member of your family, including:

  • Are they suitable for the post? Do they have the skills and competencies required? Don't create jobs exclusively for family members, ie jobs that would not otherwise exist.
  • Do they want the job?
  • Do they have relevant previous experience outside the business? What useful skills will they bring to the role?
  • Are they willing to earn the respect of their colleagues rather than just expecting it because of family connections? Can they show equal respect for non-family colleagues?
  • Can you be objective when promoting staff and only promote the best person for the job whether they are a relative or not?
  • Can you put business objectives above family politics?
  • Will you be able to apply the same pay policy, and disciplinary and appraisal procedures to both family and non-family workers?

Beware of indirectly discriminating against non-family members. See how to prevent discrimination and value diversity.

Your employment policies must be fairly applied eg you might consider an open competition for posts to ensure you choose the best person for the job if the family member would not be the best candidate. You should consider safe proofing the selection process as far as possible to minimise risks of discrimination claims ie select the interview panel carefully.