Get employee information

You need to get certain information from your employee so you can set them up with the correct tax code and starter declaration on your payroll software.

You’ll usually get most of this information from the employee’s P45, but they’ll have to fill in a ‘starter checklist’ (which replaced the P46 form) if they do not have a recent P45.

You’ll need your employee’s:

  • date of birth
  • gender
  • full address
  • start date

From your employee’s P45, you’ll need their:

  • full name
  • leaving date from their last job
  • total pay and tax paid to date for the current tax year
  • student loan deduction status
  • National Insurance number
  • existing tax code

You must keep this information in your payroll records for the current year and the 3 following tax years.

If your employee does not have a P45

Ask your employee for this information if you do not have their P45, or if they left their last job before 6 April 2023.

The P46 form is no longer used.

Get the information by asking your new employee to complete HMRC’s new starter checklist.

If your employee has more than one P45

You should use the P45 with the latest date and give the other one back to the employee.

If they have the same leaving date use the P45 with the highest tax free allowance (or least additional pay for a K code) and give the other one back to the employee.

Work out your employee’s tax code

When you’ve got your employee’s information you can use a tool to:

  • work out their tax code and starter declaration
  • find out what else to do before you pay your employee for the first time

Work out your employee’s tax code

Employees you only pay once and secondments from abroad

There’s a different way to work out tax codes for employees who you only pay once or who are seconded from abroad.

  1. Step 1 Check your business is ready to employ staff

  2. Step 2 Recruit someone

    You need to advertise the role and interview candidates. You can use a recruitment agency to do this or do it yourself.

    1. Find out about recruiting someone yourself on Acas
    2. Find out about using a recruitment agency

    As an employer you must make sure you recruit employees fairly.

    1. Avoid discrimination during recruitment
    2. Make your application process accessible for employees with disabilities or health conditions
  3. and Check they have the right to work in the UK

  4. and Find out if they need a DBS check

    You may need to check someone's criminal record, for example, if they'll be working in healthcare or with children.

    1. Find out if you need a DBS check
    2. How to do a DBS check
  5. Step 3 Check if they need to be put into a workplace pension

    Check if you need to put your employee into a workplace pension scheme:

  6. Step 4 Agree a contract and salary

  7. Step 5 Tell HMRC about your new employee