Managing people: Employing and managing staff

Areas of Employment Law to consider:

All employees should be given a signed contract of employment setting out their terms and conditions of employment. 

If an employee’s employment position changes (e.g. change in role or hours worked), remember to update the contract of employment accordingly by issuing a contract variation letter.

Statutory sick pay, or SSP, is the minimum you must legally pay your employees if they are off sick from work. It is paid to employees who are off sick for at least four days in a row. 

Further guidance:

Statutory Sick Pay 

These regulations set out several workers’ rights that you as an employer will need to take into consideration. It includes: 

  • Right to breaks during working hours 
  • A maximum number of hours in a working week 
  • A maximum number of hours for night workers 
  • Minimum breaks between shifts 
  • Minimum weekly breaks 
  • Right to paid holiday.  

Further guidance:

Working Hours 

The National Minimum Wage is the obligatory minimum wage payable to workers in the United Kingdom. The National Living Wage is higher than the Minimum Wage and is based on the cost of living.  

The Real Living Wage is voluntarily paid by over 6,000 UK employers and is calculated according to the cost of living based on a basket of household goods and services.

Further guidance:

National Minimum Wage and Living Wage rates 

National Living Wage Rates 

The Real Living Wage 

You are required to make payroll deductions from your employees’ pay.  This includes tax deductions (PAYE and National Insurance) as well as other deductions such as student loan repayments and pension contributions. 

Further guidance:

Employ Someone: Step by step 

Parents, and other people who combine work with caring for dependents, have specific rights protected by law. These include various types of leave and the right to be considered for flexible working. 

You will need to develop policies regarding your business’ approach to parents and carers, maternity leave, paternity leave, parental leave, adoption leave etc. 

As a minimum, your business will have to pay statutory maternity / paternity pay.

Further guidance:

Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Leave Pay 

If you need to make staff redundant from their posts, you will need to follow a specific process including a period of consultation. 

As a minimum, statutory redundancy pay will have to be paid to qualifying staff. Businesses should ensure that they hold sufficient reserves to pay redundancy pay in the event of your social business closing. 

Further guidance:


Staff Redundancy 

Calculate your Statutory Redundancy Pay 

Specific regulations exist for care activities, e.g. childcare and elderly care services stating that providers must provide enough numbers of suitably qualified, competent, skilled and experienced staff to meet the needs of the people using the service. Staff to user ratios will need to be adhered to if your business works in these areas. 

Further information is available from Care Inspectorate Wales and Social Care Wales.

Further guidance:


Care Inspectorate Wales 

Social Care Wales 

Employer requirements:

Once you start to employ staff, you will need to register as an employer with HMRC. 

Further guidance:

Register as an Employer 

You are required to make payroll deductions from your employees’ pay.  This includes tax deductions (PAYE and National Insurance) as well as other deductions such as student loan repayments and pension contributions.

Further guidance:

Employ Someone: Step by Step 

You can either run and manage your own payroll system or subcontract to a third party, e.g. your accountants, to manage your payroll on your behalf. 

HMRC operate a Real Time Information (RTI) process where details of employee pay and deductions are directly uploaded from payroll information.   

Again, your accountant should be able to advise on the set up of a payroll system and the RTI process or undertake the work on your behalf. 

Monthly deductions from pay (PAYE, NI, student loan deductions etc.) will need to be paid over to HMRC monthly and any pension deductions to the relevant pension provider. 

Further guidance:

Reporting to HMRC 

Your business needs adequate insurance including public liability insurance and employers’ liability insurance. The latter is compulsory if you employ staff, freelancers and volunteers. 

Further guidance:

Employers Liability Insurance 

The Equality Act ensures consistency in what employers and employees need to do to make their workplaces a fair environment and comply with the law. It protects people from discrimination in the workplace. 

Further guidance:

Equality Act 2010 

You need to protect people who come into contact with your social business from abuse or mistreatment of any kind. This applies to your staff, your volunteers and your community of users. You will need to have appropriate safeguarding policies, processes and reporting in place to manage this. 

Safeguarding is particularly important where your social business deals with children, young people or at-risk adults or works in vulnerable situations. 

You need to set out your approach to protect people from harm including use of DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks where appropriate. 

Further guidance:


Safeguarding Guidance 

Social Care Wales: Safeguarding 

UK Government: Disclosure and Barring Service 

Develop HR policies and procedures proportional to the size and nature of your business, setting out your approach to: 

  • Recruitment  

  • Induction 

  • Probation 

  • Pay and Expenses 

  • Gifts and Hospitality 

  • Redundancy 

  • Disciplinary and Grievance procedures 

  • Sickness 

  • Parental Leave 

  • Safeguarding and DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service). 

Further guidance:


Start here: 

Human Resource Management in Social Businesses 

And grow here: 

Human Resources Development in a Social Business