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Hiring Your First Employee? Don’t Overlook These Things

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Hiring an employee is a big step to take. There are lots of things to consider from setting up a payroll to working out the best place to advertise vacancies. Below are some of the important steps that can get overlooked. 

Registering as an employer

Before you pay your first employee, you must register as an employer with HMRC. This should be done no more two months beforehand and no less than five days beforehand (it may take five days to process). From here, you’ll receive your PAYE reference number to prove you’re legally allowed to hire employees. Registering as an employer is something you can do online – the process is fairly straightforward, although you will need some documentation to hand. If you plan to hire international employees, the process can get twice as tedious and complicated. Check out Remote’s guide on hiring international employees to get a headstart.


It’s mandatory for every employer to take out employers’ liability insurance. If employees get injured or sick as a result of your work, this insurance will help to pay them compensation. Apply for this in advance before you hire your first employee. It’s worth shopping around for insurance rates. Insurance can be higher in certain industries where there may be a greater chance of workplace injuries, however you may be able to reduce your rates by proving you run a safe workplace, which leads onto the next important overlooked factor…

Workplace health and safety

It’s important that your workplace meets health and safety regulations. If you’re hiring someone to work remotely for you or you don’t have a permanent workspace, this may not matter. However, if you and your employees will be working together from a permanent premises, you need to make sure that these premises are safe. Things to consider include fire safety, supply of PPE, good air quality and measures to prevent RSIs such as ergonomic office chairs. You could consider hiring a health and safety advisor to run through all the recommended safety measures so that you don’t miss anything. 

Pre employment checks

It’s worth doing a few pre employment medicals to make sure that an applicant isn’t hiding any harmful information. You should start by making sure that an applicant has the right to work in the UK (this could include either a passport to prove citizenship or a working visa). You may then want to consider asking for past employer references as well as checking their online presence. Other checks such as pre employment medicals can make sure that an applicant has no health conditions which could put them at risk of a serious injury. A criminal background check could also be worth carrying out to make sure an applicant has committed no major felonies. 

Employee benefits

On top of providing your employees with a good wage, you need to be able to afford various compulsory workplace benefits such as holiday pay, sick pay, pension contributions or maternity pay. You may also want to consider offering extra employee benefits to make your role more attractive – this could include anything from paying for lunch to offering bonuses. You can find out more information on employee benefits online. 

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