You just made your first hire. What next?

Updated: Nov 18

Before you can start paying your first employees, you need to keep a few things in mind. This article will explain how you can start employing staff in 5 simple steps.

Check if the employee has the Right to Work in the UK

Check if your applicants have the right to work in the UK by either checking the applicants’ original documents or their right to work online. Read this helpful guide about right to work checks that also deals with the law change in October 2022

Work out employment details

Before agreeing on a salary, you need to check what is the National Minimum Wage for your employee. After deciding the hire, you need to provide the following documents:

Add the employee to your payroll software using the correct tax information

  • Check which of your employees require PAYE here;

  • Get the necessary employee information to set them up with the correct tax code and starter declaration on your payroll software – you can get this information from the employee’s P45. However, if the P45 is not recent or your employee does not have one, this information can be gathered from a starter checklist.

  • Work out your employee's tax code

When onboarding new employees on Zelt, Zelt automatically collects P45 and other starter information from them directly and sets them up correctly in your Zelt Payroll app.

If you have not registered for PAYE yet, you can follow our step-by-step guide. (After that, don't forget to activate your PAYE account and remember to keep your account office reference handy.)

Assess and enrol eligible employees in your workplace pension.

As an employer it is your responsibility to check if your employees should be enrolled in a Workplace Pension. You should check if your employee meets certain conditions and if they do, you will need to enrol them. See what are your duties if you are employing people for the first time here and if you already employ people here.

Optional: Get a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

In case you want to check the criminal record of your applicants to make a safer decision when recruiting, you can request a DBS check (cost starts at £23). Find more information about the types of checks you can ask for here. Note that you can accept a previous certificate if the applicant’s identity is the same and the check has the appropriate level and type of information for the new role. You also need to check if anything has changed in case the applicant requested an update.

What you need to have in place before you can run payroll

  1. Registered your company with companies house: guide.

  2. Created a Government Gateway: guide

  3. Registered as an employer: guide

  4. Added your PAYE account to your Government Gateway: guide

  5. Set up an auto-enrolment workplace pension: guide


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