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Jul 22

Posted by
Saoirse Moloney

What you need to know about Hiring Employees in the UK

There are a number of things to consider when hiring employees in the UK such as background checks, medical examinations, and the contract of employment all of which will be discussed in this blog.

Background Checks

Background checks are a standard procedure for a number of sectors in the UK. They are used to ensure that the candidate is qualified for the position and that they do not have any criminal records. When you are looking to hire someone, you should request a background check.

The Employment Background Check Act was introduced in 2008. It is a requirement for employers to conduct background checks on staff before hiring them. These checks can include criminal records, credit checks, and employment references.

Employers are legally obliged to follow the best practice when conducting compliance checks. This includes:
- Conducting a thorough check of criminal records and checking with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for any previous convictions.
- Checking employment references

Medical Examinations

Pre-employment health checks or questions are regulated under the Equality Act 2010. In certain circumstances, pre-employment questions of or about an applicant for work are prohibited before an offer of work to the applicant is made, or before his or her inclusion in a pool from which candidates for work will be selected.

Individual offers of employment can be made conditional upon satisfactory health checks, but a recruiting employer may then render itself liable to discrimination claims if it appears that an offer is not confirmed based on the information disclosed by the health checks.

Medical reports given by a medical practitioner responsible for an individual’s care are subject to the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988, which essentially allows the patient the right of sight and comment on the report.

Hiring of employees

Employment Contracts

There is no statutory requirement for a written employment contract however it is common practice in the UK for all employees to have a written employment contract with their employers that contains the following terms;
• the names and addresses of the employee or worker and the employer;
• the start date and the continuous employment commencement date;
• the job title;
• the place of work;
• the length of the temporary or fixed-term work;
• terms relating to work outside the United Kingdom for a period of more than one month;
• remuneration details;
• the hours of work;
• the days of the week on which he or she is required to work and whether working hours or days may be variable;
• any probationary period that starts at the beginning of the engagement, including any conditions and its duration;
• holidays and holiday pay;
• sickness and sick pay;
• any other paid leave (eg, family related leave such as maternity or paternity leave, or time off for public duties);
• the pension;
• any part of any training entitlement that the employer requires him or her to complete, including any training that it requires but does not pay for;
• any other benefits provided by the employer;
• the notice period;
• whether the work is temporary or fixed-term;
• collective agreements; and
• the disciplinary and grievance procedures

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