I only employ one full-time and three part-time staff. Do I have to have a health and safety policy?
The legislation that deals with this particular area is the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. This imposes general duties for the employer towards both employees and members of the public and also between employees and each other. The Act requires that any business which employs five or more staff must have a written health and safety policy.
From the information you have given it would appear that you do have five or more staff including yourself. It is advisable in any event to have a written policy to cover you for the periods when you may have more staff, even if they are only employed for a temporary period.
The written policy can be a standard notice which is available from the Health & Safety Executive or you can draft it yourself, although you should be aware that the statement must contain certain information, for example the details of the premises in question and the person who is responsible in your absence.
The statement must be brought to the attention of each of the employees and it should be included within any staff training. The statement should also be reviewed on a regular basis so that if either your circumstances or those of the business change, the statement can be amended as necessary.
It is advisable to ensure that each member of staff is made aware of this and signs a confirmation slip recording that they have seen the policy statement.