Employing Staff: Responsibilities as an Employer Checklist

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Employing Staff: Responsibilities as an Employer Checklist

Employing staff is a huge step and can be rather daunting especially if you are a small business and it is the first member of staff. It is a big decision for any growing small business and can be a rather daunting process.

Additional employees can make a huge difference to a business to have an extra pair of hands. Employing staff can increase productivity, increase skill set and free up the workload to focus on other tasks. But this requires thinking about because there can be negatives as well as positives. 

Employing staff brings other responsibilities like additional costs and legal responsibilities as an employer.

Consider whether you really need to employ staff or recruit an additional employee, and how you plan on employing them? 

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Employing Staff Different Options Available

Employing staff can be done in a number of ways:

Permanent, full time or fixed-term employees: Employed – You are responsible for paying tax, insurance, pension, paid holiday, sick pay and maternity /paternity.
Part-Time: Employed – Work fewer hours than a full-time person to be classed as part-time. 
Casual employees: Temporary Employed – People occasionally do work they don’t have to accept the offer – they only work when and if they want to.Terms like ‘casual staff’, ‘freelance’, ‘zero hours’, or something similar.
Apprentices or Trainees: Employed – A employee combing working alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills alongside studying.
Agency staff: Hired Staff – Temporary agency staff through agencies you pay the agency for the staff they supply.
Contractors, subcontractors and Freelancers: Hired Staff Self Employed – for a fixed-term contract. There is usually a start and ends date or set requirement for instance completion of a specific task.

Hiring Employees Responsibilities

Hiring your very first employee is so exciting but, it also comes with a lot of responsibility. Knowing you need to generate enough money every month to make sure you can pay the wages, provide equipment and have time or the budget to provide any training needed.

Along with that, you’ll also have a number of legal obligations set out by the government. 

Employing Staff in UK Legal Checklist


Wages: How much are you going to pay and how often will you pay?

Remember it must be at least the UK national minimum wage.

Right To Work

Confirm employees have the right to work within the United Kingdom.

Prove right to work information.

Checking the job applicant’s right to work information

There is the civil penalty if you employ illegal workers and do not carry out the correct right to work checks.

CRB / DBS Check

Check the criminal record of the person applying for a job.

Are you in an industry that requires CRB / DBS Check to operate? 

CRB: Criminal Records Bureau ( Now changed to DBS)

DBS: Disclosure and Barring Service

Government Disclosure and Barring Service

Basic DBS Check ‘basic disclosure’ of criminal records

Employers Liability Insurance

Employers’ liability (EL) insurance offers protection against any compensation claims from employee injury or illness which has occurred as a result of their work.

The policy must cover for a  minimum of £5 million and from an authorised insurer.

NOTE: Fines are £2,500 for every day you are not properly insured.

Employment Contract

Employment contract is an agreement between both employee and employer setting out terms and conditions of employment.

Written statement of employment 


Register as an employer on HMRC Portal 

This needs to be done before paying an employee to get PAYE ( Pay as You Earn) reference number.

Each month you will have to calculate income tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs)

Workplace Pension

Workplace Pension Scheme: Do you need to automatically enrol your staff?

Pension scheme: You pay (minimum) 1% towards the workplace pension and the employee pays 0.8% from their salary.

As a small business and employer, you have a number of responsibilities to your staff.

Looking for help with the recruiting process with having a number of checklists that might help you in your process.

Pre Employment Checklist, Job Offer Process Checklist, Recruitment Candidate Specification Checklist, Job Description Checklist, Job Vacancy Advertisement Checklist, Hiring Process Checklist and Employee Onboarding Process Checklist.

Employment contract checklist, Staff induction, New Employee Health & Safety checklist​, Staff documentation checklist

Other HR policies you need to think about.

Frequently asked questions
Looking for more info? Here are some things we're commonly asked
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    The human resources department is responsible for tracking compliance to prevent costly fines, loss of reputation, lawsuits and other penalties. For this reason, HR professionals must be aware of the different laws a business should abide by.

    Read More: HR Compliance: Comply with Laws, Rules and Regulations

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    Give you the data to analyse your processes to make changes and improve all human resources tasks, which can then reduce cost and increase productivity.

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