News story

Online tool simplifies hiring demands for first-time employers

The Taking on an Employee toolkit, found on the Business Link website, takes employers through the process of hiring their first member of staff…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The Taking on an Employee toolkit, found on the Business Link website, takes employers through the process of hiring their first member of staff and explains their core legal obligations when doing so. This includes information on setting pay, getting the right insurance, understanding tax requirements and checking a new employee’s right to work in the UK.

Feedback from the employment theme of the Red Tape Challenge suggested that the current guidance was too complex, that the information on how to do this was not readily available and that it was unclear as to where to find this. This toolkit combats these problems by clearly outlining what an employer must do, why they must do it and how they can take the action to comply.

Norman Lamb said:

“For many one-person businesses there is a belief that the process for taking on their first member of staff can be a daunting and overly complicated process. And with no one easily accessible source of guidance it can really feel burdensome. The Taking on an Employee toolkit aims to tackle this problem and will help empower our sole-traders, our one person businesses, to take that next step.

“The Red Tape Challenge and the online toolkit we are launching today are just two of the many measures we are taking to tackle employment regulation and to make sure it doesn’t act as a deterrent in hiring staff. If we can provide the advice and information in a simple format, showing first-time employers that taking on staff can be a simple process, this will ultimately help in our efforts in creating jobs and encouraging growth.”

Sector champion for the employment law theme of the Red Tape Challenge, Steve Sharratt said:

“This is the first step in a whole new online service for small businesses, which is based upon the requirement to make life easier for business. It’s simple really, if compliance is made easier, we can focus more on growing our businesses and then everyone wins.”

John Walker, National Chairman. Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“Taking on an employee can be a daunting, expensive and risky process and 13 per cent of FSB members have said one-to-one support would help them take on staff. Having a one-stop-shop to get quick access to all the information needed to recruit will help firms that want to grow.”

Institute of Recruiters (IOR) Director General, Azmat Mohammed said:

“It’s very encouraging to see a highly useful tool that helps solve a genuine barrier to employment for small businesses. Business owners have numerous simultaneous challenges in growing their business, and making it easier to take people on will have a significantly positive impact on Britain’s economy.”

In addition, a mythbusters document has been published alongside the online toolkit for first-time employers which aims to address some common misconceptions about hiring a member of staff. This document includes helpful advice on registering with HMRC, anti-discrimination laws, dismissal rules, setting up payrolls and probation periods. Also available from the site will be information about Government support, financial and otherwise, to encourage employers to take on their first employee.

This year the Government is running the Business in You campaign to encourage more people to start or grow their business throughout 2012 using a range of existing support services. More information is available at

Notes to editors:

  1. The Taking on a employee online tool can be found here

  2. The mythbusters document can be found here

  3. This facility will be transferred to the domain later this year as Business Link moves its facilities to the new website.

  4. Mr Lindsay Melvin, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) said:

“It is important that start-up businesses are aware of the processes involved when it comes to hiring staff, particularly with regards to payroll. The CIPP is pleased to see that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has introduced this step-by-step guide to taking on employees as it supports our objective to educate businesses in relation to their payroll obligations.”

  1. The spotlight for the Red Tape Challenge ran from 10 October to 31 October. Of the 159 regulations in the employment theme over 70 regulations (over 40%) are to be merged, simplified or scrapped.

  2. The Employment Law Review is a Parliament long review looking at all aspects of employment law and is part of the Government’s plans to deliver growth by breaking down barriers, boosting opportunities and creating the right conditions for businesses to start up and thrive. More information can be found here

  3. BIS’s online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See for more information.

Notes to Editors

Contact Information

Name BIS Press Office Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation & Skills Phone




Name Henry Tanner Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Phone 020 7215 5947 Fax



Published 25 April 2012