Taking on your first employee


If you employ someone in your business or in your home as a carer and they are not self-employed or paid through an agency you have certain responsibilities. 

Here are seven of the steps you need to take to meet those responsibilities:


1. Check if the employee is allowed to work in the UK.

2. Take out employers' liability insurance

3. Register with HMRC as an employer before you pay them for the first time

4. Provide your employee with a written statement of employment or employment contract

5. Pay the National Minimum wage for their age

6. Set up a workplace pension if your employee is eligible to be auto enrolled or chooses to join your scheme and make deductions from their pay and employer contributions to their pension

7. Run a payroll ensuring you make the correct deductions from their pay and provide them with a payslip showing their pay and the deductions

Once you become an employer you need to be aware that you have to pay:

  • Statutory Sick Pay if your employee is off sick for more than 3 days and is eligible to receive it,
  • Statutory Maternity, Paternity or Adoption Pay if they are eligible for it 
  • a minimum of 28 days holiday (20 days + 8 bank holidays) or pro rata equivalent if they work part-time

If your employee does not earn enough to have deductions for tax and national insurance taken from their pay you may not need to run a payroll.  However if they have another job you would have to deduct tax from their earnings and therefore you will need to set up a payroll.

Taking on your First EmployeeOf course there is much more to think about, prepare for and understand as well as very specific rules to follow when employing staff.  It can be daunting planning for your first employee and wondering what steps you have to take but there will be someone out there to help you make sense of it all and take away the more challenging, nerve-racking parts.

Don't be worried about taking on your first employee.  Let someone experienced in payroll and auto enrolment take on the challenging stuff while you help your employee settle into their new job.