Guide

Recruiting staff

Employing staff for the first time: eight top tips

When you become an employer for the first time and take on a new employee, there are important checks you must make. Here are eight key steps that you should consider.

1. Decide how much to pay your employee: Almost all workers are legally entitled to the National Minimum Wage. The National Living Wage is higher than the National Minimum Wage - workers get it if they are over 25. See National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates.

2. Carry out pre-employment checks: You should carry out an initial identity check on workers and verify their references and qualifications. You may also wish to include health checks as part of your recruitment process. See pre-employment checks.

3. Check if your employee has the right to work in the UK: You must check whether your employee is legally entitled to work in the UK. See ensuring your workers are eligible to work in the UK.

4. Check if you need to apply for a criminal records check: There are certain types of employment (eg some professional occupations or working closely with children or adults in vulnerable situations) for which an AccessNI criminal records check is required. See AccessNI criminal records checks.

5. Get employment insurance: You will need employers’ liability insurance as soon as you become an employer. This insurance enables businesses to meet the costs of damages and legal fees for employees who are injured or fall ill at work through the fault of the employer. See employers’ liability insurance.

6. Send details of the job in writing to your employee: Once you have chosen your new employee, you should send an offer letter. This should set out the main terms and conditions of the job. In addition, workers employed for a month or more are entitled to receive a written statement. See the written statement.

7. Tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) you are an employer: If you employ someone, you will need to register as an employer with HMRC. See registering and getting started with PAYE.

8. Check if you need to automatically enrol your employee into a workplace pension scheme: All employers will have to provide workers with a qualifying workplace pension over the next few years. The official date for beginning this process depends on how many people your business has on its payroll. Read more on automatic enrolment into a workplace pension.