What Do I Need To Consider When Taking On My First Employees?

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What Do I Need To Consider When Taking On My First Employees?


Written by John Berry on 9th May 2017. Revised 23rd July 2017.

3 min read

Employing staff can be daunting. But it can also be very rewarding as you see your business grow.

There are seven key points to be considered. And each needs you to take specific action.

  1. Get employers’ liability insurance

This is a pre-requisite when employing staff, other than family or someone based outside the UK. There is a fine of £2,000 per day for each day that valid insurance in not in place. The Employers Liability certificate needs to be displayed or else you are liable to a £1,000 fine.

  1. Decide how much to pay the employees

This will be determined by the job role and benchmarking of salary data. It must in any case be above the national minimum wage. Employers are also obliged to pay all employees equally for work of equal value. Employers may not discriminate between employees.

  1. Check eligibility to work in the UK

There is an onus on the employer to check that someone is eligible to work in the UK. Do not rely on recruitment agencies to do this for you. They will likely check, but you will be liable if for some reason your employee is not eligible to work in the UK.

  1. Check data relevant to the job role

If the role involves working with vulnerable adults or children then a DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) check will need to be undertaken. If the role involves driving then the employer must investigate and confirm that the employee has a valid driving licence.. Likewise, any other industry and role relevant requirements, qualifications and certifications must be checked. Don’t make assumptions – get evidence.

  1. Send the employee a written statement of employment

If someone is to be employed for more that one month they must be provided with a ‘written statement of employment particulars’ within two months of their start date. The information can be provided in more than one document, but there must be one document (or principal statement) that contains specific information.

  1. Advise HMRC that you are an employer

As an employer you must advise HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as soon as you employ staff, or use subcontractors for construction work. Registration must be done before the first payment is made to employees.

The amount of tax and Ni to be paid will be determined by the employees tax code. If they are coming from a previous employer in the tax year then they will have a P45 that will determine the deductions to be made.

Payroll can be outsourced to a bureau or an accountant.

  1. Arrange pension payments

All firms are required to offer workplace pensions. Auto-enrolment means that employees must automatically be enrolled into a pension scheme if they meet certain criteria. The Pensions Regulator website has more information on staging dates by which employers must enter into a scheme.

If you are taking on staff give us a call. We can work with you to ensure you have the correct documentation in place to get you off to a good start.

This document cites the bare minimum to be legally compliant. There is much more to do to be a competent manager of people and achieve an engaged workforce. Contact us for more.