When looking at the costs of running a business, it is often essential to cut costs where you can. With so much information available online and sites where you can download contracts easily for free or low cost, it's tempting to do this for your HR. 
However, there are many dangers of doing this. For example, not using an expert could cost you thousands if you face a court case from an employee. Or you could be fined if you have not taken correct measures to check staff eligibility to work or are paying incorrect NI and pension contribution. 
Here are a few of the dangers of DIY HR. 
Employment Contracts 
Downloading online contracts that are not bespoke to your business and industry is a dangerous thing to do. If you are not an expert in contract law, how do you know if that agreement will stand up in court? The short answer is – you don't. Always get the contracts you use in your business drawn up by a professional. Otherwise, you can find yourself in a court battle that you might not win when there is a problem. Ensure all your contracts are professionally written - not only employment contracts but freelancers' contracts as well as suppliers and customers. This will prevent future issues. 
HR Policies 
HR policies are usually contained in your handbook. This should be available to all staff. If you do not have correctly written policies, you will leave your business open to disputes with staff which could result in an employment tribunal. Everything should be contained in this document, from staff uniform policies, sickness procedures to holiday entitlement. The policies you have will depend on your business, and an HR professional is the best person to advise on your requirements. Ensuring you have clear and robust policies provides consistency across your business and ensures all staff are treated fairly. 
If you try to do this yourself, you may leave out valuable information, and it might not be compliant with current HR law. 
Protection of personal information 
You must know the correct and lawful procedures for collecting and storing data on employees. There are considerable risks to your business if this information is not secure. So, ensuring you are fully compliant removes the risk of liability on your business. An HR professional will guide you through this process and ensure you have a policy for this. 
HR risk assessment 
Every business that employs staff should undertake an HR risk assessment. This would cover many areas, including workplace safety, training needs, benefits packages, and policies and procedures. An HR risk assessment is essential. If carried out by a professional, you will identify any areas of your business you need to consider improvements or policies to comply with employment law. 
Do you have the HR skills and knowledge? 
Unless you are qualified in HR, then no! This is not a role for someone in admin or the PA of the CEO! We have found this has happened a few times when things have gone badly wrong! We understand that many businesses are not large enough to employ a full or part-time HR manager. But still use an expert. This is where we can support you. You get all the knowledge and expertise from a fully trained HR professional who is at Director Level. 
Start gaining help and support when you employ your very first member of staff. If you have grown your team and haven't had an HR review and have been trying to do this yourself, get help before you have a court case! 
As an employer, you must be knowledgeable about employment legislation and laws that protect employees and workers wellbeing. However, this can be time-consuming, and having an HR expert you can rely on to keep you updated removes the concern you may not be compliant with. 
So our message is don't dabble with your HR, like DIY if you don't know what you are doing and don't have the right tools and knowledge for the job the mistakes you make could end up costing thousands! 
If you have a team or are thinking of taking on your first staff member, contact us for help and advice. 
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