Whether you’ve been in business for years and you’re expanding, or you’re starting a new company from scratch, taking on your first member of staff is a momentous occasion.
The sheer amount of hoop-jumping required to hire staff can seem daunting, but with the right approach, you can blast through it and be signing the dotted line on that contract within no time.
1. Ensure you’re paying at least the National Minimum Wage
Do we really need to mention this? Either way, there are different rules for who gets the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage. You can check them out on the here.
2. Do all necessary eligibility checks
As an employer, it’s your responsibility to make sure any staff have a legal right to work in the UK and you can be fined if it turns out you’ve employed an ‘illegal’ worker. This involves verifying a worker’s identity, and if necessary their immigration and work status. This should be done every time, even for UK-born-and-raised staff members! There’s up-to-date info on the government website, which is essential reading with the ongoing Brexit chaos.
If you work in a field where DBS checks are needed to verify the employee’s background, now is also the time to do these.
3. Sort out employers liability insurance
Employers Liability Insurance covers you in the event that your staff member has an accident or becomes ill as a result of working for you. Your policy must cover you for at least £5m, come from an authorised insurer, and it’s non-negotiable – everyone has to have it. If you don’t, you can be fined a whopping £2,500 for each day you have been without it.
4. Draw up a contract
Now it’s starting to get exciting. Technically a contract doesn’t have to be written down, but if that contract is going to last longer than one month, you must supply a ‘written statement of employment particulars’. That’s a long-winded way of saying the main conditions of a contract need to be written down. There are particular rules about what should be included – things like pay, hours and holiday entitlement are in there. You can find a full list here.
5. Tell HMRC
Time to tell the tax office! You must register both yourself as an employer and your new employee. Once you’ve registered yourself, you’ll get your own PAYE reference number.
Registering your new employee requires a little work – if you’ve ascertained you need to pay them through PAYE, it’s your responsibility to allocate them the correct tax code using (if possible) their P45. You should also find out if they’re liable to pay back any student loans. Once you’ve added them to your payroll, you can then submit this information to HMRC using what’s known as a Full Payment Submission (FPS). And you’re done!
6. Sort your workplace pension scheme
Employers have to provide a pension scheme for all staff members who meet the following criteria:
- Are between 22 and State Pension age
- Earn over £10,000 per year
- Usually work in the UK
As you might expect, it involves a lot of admin, but it’s fairly simple and The Pensions Regulator site is simple-to-use and will guide you through the whole process.
Now all that’s left to do is set them up a desk and show them where the coffee machine is…