You have to consider the type of worker you wish to employ, depending on factors such as:
- how constant the work is
- how long the work will last
- the number of hours of work each week
Staff recruitment options
You have a number of options:
- Permanent employees - can be full-time or part-time. They have an open-ended employment contract with you. You have obligations to them but they will be an investment in your business. See recruiting full-time or part-time employees.
- Fixed-term contract employees - have an employment contract with you for a predetermined time or until a specific task has been completed. See employment status. You'll still have employer obligations but only for the duration of the contract. See recruiting staff on fixed-term contracts.
- Employment agency - temporary staff are engaged by the agency and supplied to you. Your contract is with the employment agency to supply you with staff, but you still have certain legal responsibilities towards the agency worker. See recruiting agency workers.
- Self-employed freelances, consultants and contractors - this gives you the minimum of employer obligations. But you need to be sure that the people are legally defined as self-employed. See employment status.
- Zero-hours contracts - these allow you to employ people casually ie as and when required, to have people on-call to work whenever necessary and mutually convenient. Generally, you are not obliged to offer work, nor is there a responsibility for the worker to accept any work. Look at the terms of any zero-hours contract carefully as it may affect the employment status of the worker and your responsibility towards them. Read more on zero-hours contracts.
- Children or young people - if you plan to employ children or young people, you should keep in mind that there are restrictions on the hours and types of work that they can legally carry out. See employing children and young people.
You will have to make tax arrangements for all employees and may also have to make tax arrangements for workers directly engaged by you. See employment status.
Know your legal responsibilities
- Do you need a licence?
- Get the right business insurance
- Comply with the law when providing goods and services
- Know your customers' rights
- Distance and online selling rules
- Understand pricing legislation
- Buying goods from outside NI
- Selling goods outside NI
- GDPR compliance checklist
- Pay your business rates
- Understand staff contracts and your responsibilities
- Taking on contractors and subcontractors
- What you need to do about health and safety
- Know your legal obligations on pensions
Understand tax and VAT
Sell and market your products or services