How to hire your first employee in the UK


We are on the brink of hiring our first staff member in the UK.

We know there is a lot of paperwork to be done, but have no idea what that paperwork is and which things are crucial and which are just recommended.

I am looking for a checklist for UK-based businesses with essential tasks to be completed before and during the hiring process.

Recruiting Hiring UK

asked Jul 9 '11 at 20:40
Nikolay Piryankov
683 points

1 Answer


There are two main options for hiring staff in the UK - full-time employee and freelance.

To hire someone as a full-time employee, you need to register with the tax office ( ) so that you can create a PAYE scheme for tax, national insurance, etc. You also have to think about various other regulations, such as minimum wage, working time directive, data protection, student loans, tax credits, Employer's Liability insurance, holiday pay, etc, etc. An accountant can do all this for you, for a fee, or you can do it yourself. The government websites and contact centres are generally very good. I always take care of this stuff myself, so I know what is happening, but YMMV.

The other alternative is to hire someone on a freelance basis, where they have a Limited company and it is a B2B relationship, so you don't have to worry about any of the employment responsibilities.

answered Jul 13 '11 at 21:12
Steve Jones
206 points
  • Check this HMRC website for lots of new employers information: [link]( – Steve Jones 13 years ago
  • Thank you, I have heard about all of these issues, and I was actually looking for a checklist identifying the crucial or critical issues and the order in which they should be carried out. Any ideas? – Nikolay Piryankov 13 years ago
  • Well, if you want to take on employees in this country, then all of the items on the list are "crucial and critical", but you should start with the checklist I posted above from the HMRC website. – Steve Jones 13 years ago

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