Aug 19, 2022

Employer Checklist

This employer starter checklist provides an overview of the key things to consider when hiring.

Amber Akhtar
Amber Akhtar

Employer checklist

As an employer there are many things you need to consider before hiring an employee and during the employment itself. This employer starter checklist will provide an overview of the key things to consider.

Job Description

Before commencing the recruitment process and hiring employees it is important to have a job description. The job description should describe the nature of the role and the skills and/or qualifications required. When writing a job description it can be tempting to use a job description template found online, be careful when using templates as it may not encompass all the details you need to find a suitable candidate.

When writing the job description try to be specific with the job title so applicants are aware of what role they are applying for and for you to ensure you narrow down the applicants to those suitable.

Include a list of benefits the successful applicant will be entitled to alongside a salary range.


When recruiting you can choose to post internal job ad on your website or post a job post on LinkedIn, Indeed or other job seeking platform. You may also appoint a recruitment agency to find a suitable candidate for you.

The best way to recruit:

  • Start by creating a recruitment strategy which is a plan of action to help you successfully attract, identify and hire a suitable candidate for your role.
  • Treat candidates with respect and often a technique employers adopt is to treat interviewees like potential customers.
  • Use social media platforms such as LinkedIn as this will allow you to search beyond your own network. It will also allow prospective candidates to review your page to see if they are a good fit or not.
  • Consider using sponsored job posts to reach a wider audience and make your posting more visible.
  • Consider internal recruits within the company or previous candidates that were not successful.
  • Use employee referal programs as existing staff may know of suitable candidates in their network.
  • There are a number of recruitement companies you could appoint such as Hays and Michael Page. It is important you identify the best recruiter for you by providing the right information around the business and employee requirements for a tailored approach.


Conducting an interview can often be as daunting for employers as is for applicants. Especially if its your first time recruiting as a start-up founder. In order to effectively conduct an interview you should:

  • Prepare the interview questions ahead of the interview, the questions should allow you to get to know the candidate an assess their suitablity for the role and whether they will fit into the company.
  • To avoid bias and to gain additional perspective you should consider seeking counsel from senior staff or trusted colleagues to assist in the interview. However, be mindful having too many people involved in the recruitment process can also slow things down.
  • Ask a number of questions including behavioural and situational questions.
  • As always it is good to make notes to refer back to when you are making your decision in order to have an overview of the candidate incase you forget important information.

Right to Work

Once you have selected a suitable candidate it is a legal requirement for you to check their right to work. When checking an applicants right to work you can check the applicants:

  • Right to work online using their share code and date of birth, the gov.uk platform will allow you to check the types of work the applicant can do and how long they are permitted to work in the UK, if there is a time limit.
  • Original documents, this is dependent on where the applicant is from and gov.uk have created a useful platform for you to identify which documents you can review, which can be accessed here.

You may face a penalty if you employ an illegal worker and have not carried out a right to work check correctly.

Written Statement of Employment Particulars

As an employer you are required to give employees and workers a document which includes the main conditions of their employment when they start work. This is knows as a 'written statement of employment particulars' and is not an employment contract.

The written statement is made up of the principal statement and a wider written statement. The principal statement should be provided on the first day of employment and the wider written statement should be provided within 2 months of the start of the employment.

Alternatively you may enter into an employment agreement with the employee prior to or on the first day of employment which encompasses both the principal statement and the wider written statement. You may seek legal advice or alternatively use an online contract provider such as Legislate in order to create, invite the employee and sign online, the platform also allows users to track contract data post signature.


An integral part of employment is paying the employee. As an employer you may have to operate PAYE as part of your payroll which is HMRC's system to collect Income Tax and National Insurance from employment.

You do not need to register for PAYE if none of your employees are paid £123 or more a week, receive expenses and benefits, have another job or get a state pension, but you must keep payroll records.

When making payments to employees through payroll you should deduct PAYE deductions and payments to employees may include things like tips, bonuses or statutory sick or maternity pay. You should also consider deductions such as student loan repayments or pension contributions.

If you are paying employees yourself, it is important you report your employees' payments and deductions to HMRC on or prior to each payday. Ensure you have a record of your employees national insurance number in order to make their national insurance contributions. When hiring new employees make a record of their details in order to have them at hand when setting up payroll.

You can choose a payment software which works out how much tax and National Insurance you owe, such as Sage. The software you select will work out the amount of tax and National Insurance you owe, including the employers National Insurance contribution on each employee's earnings about £175 a week.

You will be required to pay HMRC each month based on your reports. You should tell HMRC as part of your reports, when a new employee is joining the business or if the employee's circumstances are changing.

To better understand how to run payroll you can review the government guidance here which will explain all you need to know.

You may also wish to review the gov.uk page for working out your new employee's tax code for the coming tax year prior to the first payday. This is a key part of setting up your paymentp software when taking on a new employee. In order to set this up you will need to confirm to HMRC that you need to pay the employee through PAYE and you have the necessary information such as their contact details and national insurance number (usually found in a P45 from a previous employer. The employees tax code may also be found on previous payslips.

Employee Benefits

You may want to consider offering employee additional perks in order to attract talent, as an employee retention strategy or simply because its nice to offer additional perks to your workforce.

You may choose to include health insurance, stock options or a bike to work scheme, it can be a myriad of things.

Employer Obligations

Both employer and employee have their own set of rights and responsibilities, in order to build and maintain a strong relationship each must respect their legal obligations.

Employers must:

  • adhere to the terms of the agreement and ensure they act accordingly
  • where the employee is required to work at the employers premises or any other agreed location, the employer must ensure the employee has access to it and provide all the necessary equipment required to succeed in their role (unless the employee has agreed to bring his/her own equipment
  • employers must pay the employees the agreed salary and benefits
  • employers must treat all employees equally and with the same level of respect and not discriminate based on their gender, race or disability

The law places obligations on employers through the:

  • Employment Rights Act 1996
  • National Minimum Wage Act 1998
  • Employment Relations Act 1999
  • The Maternity and Parental Leave etc. Regulations 1999
  • Part-Time Worker (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000
  • Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006
  • The Equality Act 2010
  • Agency Workers Regulations 2010

Before commencing your role as an employer familiarise yourself with the laws of the jurisdiction you are operating under to ensure you are adhering to the requirements. The contents of this list are not exhaustive and you should ensure you review your agreements and the relevant laws applicable to you, in order to understand your obligations.

Rights of Employees

Employee rights are determined by their employment status e.g. are they an employee, worker or self-employed. This is dependant on the nature of the relationship and not necessarily what the contract states. It can be determined by:

  • how dependant you are on the employer for work and whether you can refuse to work
  • how much oversight the employer has over the work you do
  • whether you are required to carry out the work independently

Employees are entitled to certain rights, which include:

  • a right to written terms which sets out the job rights and responsibilities
  • the right to sick pay, holiday pay and leave and parental leave pay
  • the right to claim redundancy and unfair dismissal after 2 years of service
  • the right to receive a payslip to breakdown the pay
  • the right to not be discriminated against because of a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010
  • Health and Safety rights
  • the right to request flexible working after 26 weeks
  • time off for annual leave
  • statutory redundancy pay
  • minimum notice periods

If you are unsure of your rights you should refer to your employment agreement or speak to your employer/HR to better understand the rights you can expect.


As you can see there is a lot to consider when starting out as an employer and during the course of hiring and managing employees. As such you should ensure you plan ahead and take guidance where necessary.

Please note the contents of this article do not constitute legal advice, we do not offer any legal advice, opinions, recommendations or guidance on which you should rely. Whilst we attempt to make sure our information is accurate and self, we recommend you consult a lawyer if you want legal advice.

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