This checklist sets out the issues that new employers should consider when employing employees for the first time. It covers the minimum obligations of employers under UK laws.
1. Register as an employer with HM Revenue and Customs before the first payday. Most new employers can register online: www.gov.uk/register-employer
2. Check that each potential recruit has the legal right to work in the UK by carrying out 'right to work' checks on a candidate before you employ them. You could face a civil penalty if you fail to do so and employ an illegal worker. For information on the documents that are sufficient to prove the right to work in the UK, and how to go about making the checks correctly, go to: www.gov.uk/government/publications/ right-to-work-checks-employers-guide
3. Apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service check if employing employees for certain types of work, such as working with children or vulnerable adults: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service/about
4. Get employers' liability insurance and display your insurance certificate as soon as you become an employer. Most employers are required by law to insure against liability for injury or disease to their employees arising out of their employment. You can be fined £2,500 for every day you are not properly insured. Your policy must cover you for at least £5 million and come from an authorised insurer. See: www.hse. gov.uk/pubns/hse40.pdf
5. Undertake a health and safety risk assessment by considering what, in your business, might cause harm to people and decide whether you are taking reasonable steps to prevent that harm. Once you have five employees or more you should put the risk assessment in writing and also draft a health and safety policy. See: www.hse.gov.uk/simple-health-safety/index.htm
6. Pay the data protection fee for data controllers to the Information Commissioner's Office: ico. org.uk/for-organisations/register/. If you process personal data, or are responsible for the processing of personal data, and have not paid the correct data protection fee, you may be subject to a monetary penalty
7. Pay the National Minimum Wage to your employees. The amount depends on the employee's age and if they are an apprentice: www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage
8. Provide a written statement of employment particulars to each employee you are employing for more than one month, within two months of their start date. The required information is set out at this link: www.gov.uk/ employment-contracts-and-conditions/written-statement-of-employmentparticulars. Certain information can be included in a separate policy which is referred to in the written statement. You could be ordered to pay an employee compensation of two or four weeks' capped pay for breach.
9. Make policies and procedures available to employees. This should include any policies as referred to in 8 above and other legally required written policies, such as a health and safety policy, whistleblowing policy (required for certain financial services employers), and data protection policies. Certain other policies (eg, anti-bribery, equal opportunities etc) are not required by law but are strongly recommended.
10. Put payroll procedures in place and give employees written itemised pay statements with details of the gross and net pay they receive on or before pay day. From April 2019, pay statements must be given to all workers (not just 'employees') and for hourly paid workers must include the number of hours paid.
11. Check if you need automatically to enrol your staff into a workplace pension scheme. Find out here: www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/en/ employers/