Employing a new staff member: The MUST dos

March 14, 2017 | Posted by Sonal Agarwal | Accounting, Business Advice, Taxation, Whitepapers,

new staff member

Are you thinking about hiring a new staff member? Is it your first time?

We asked HR expert Heather Mills (Duck Soup HR) to provide us with a checklist to ensure compliance with the relevant employment laws when hiring a new staff member:


1. Do you pay at least the National Minimum Wage?

It’s a legal requirement and you could be made liable to pay arrears with interest

Whether the person is a worker, employee or director (on payroll), you must pay the national minimum  wage depending on the person’s age. Make sure a new staff member is earning at least the minimum – the rates can be found here and vary from £3.50 to £7.50.

2. Do you have employer’s liability insurance?

If not, risk facing fines of around £2,500 per day

Minimum cover is £5m and you also need to display this to staff, which could be on the work intranet or a shared network drive.

3. Have you checked that your employees have the right to work in the UK?

You could be fined up to £20,000 per employee that is not allowed to work in the UK

Obtain. Check. Copy. You can check if someone can work in the UK here and also check the documents you will need to obtain from your new staff member.

4. Have you registered yourself and your employee with HMRC?

It’s a legal requirement – there is no penalty for late registration but penalties for not deducting PAYE and NIC

You will need to register for PAYE scheme on HMRC online before the employee’s first day, and don’t forget to register your employee as well.

5. Have you issued your staff with contracts of employment?

It’s a legal requirement under Employment Rights Act, 1966

You must issue a written statement of employment within 2 months of the start date for employment which lasts more than 1 month. You can check www.acas.co.uk to know more about your employees’ rights.

6. Do you need to do DBS checks on your staff?

It’s a legal requirement for certain jobs

This mainly applies to jobs working with children and vulnerable groups.

7. Do you need to automatically enrol your staff in a pension?

It’s a legal requirement- you could face fines from the pensions regulator

You’ll need to enrol staff over 22 and below pensionable age if they earn at least £10k per year and work in the UK.

8. Do you have a health and safety policy and have a completed risk assessment?

Failure could lead to fines, imprisonment and disqualification from directorship

This is a legal requirement if there are over 5 staff (includes temporary staff and contractors).

9. Do you have a disciplinary and grievance procedure?

It’s a legal requirement to follow Acas code of practice

Unfair dismissal could result in: max basic award £14,370; max compensatory award £78,962;  max additional award for failure to reinstate £24,908.

10. Do you have an equal opportunities policy?

It’s a legal requirement under Equality Act 2010

You could be liable to pay unlimited compensation if sued for discrimination due to age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, religion, race etc. so it’s important to ensure you have an equal opportunities policy in place.

11. Are you registered with the Information Commissioner?

It’s a legal requirement to protect employees’ personal data

Check the ICO’s guide to employment practices code

new staff member

About Heather Mills: As a fully qualified HR professional with over 25 years’ experience, Heather specialises in the needs of small businesses and is passionate about good people management and improving staff performance. Heather owns and runs Duck Soup HR, a business she founded with the key objective of saving her clients time and money by handling all aspects of human resource from the initial recruitment of a new staff member, right through to the end of employment.


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