Think you’re ready to be the boss? Test your knowledge about employing staff before taking that step

1. Go you! You’ve got more work than you can manage. You need to think about taking on staff. What are your key legal requirements as an employer?

  • A. You must provide an employment contract and a safe place to work
  • B. You must pay relevant national minimum wages
  • C. You must enrol people to pay tax, national insurance and pension contributions
  • D. All of the above…and then some!

2. As an employer, you’ll be responsible for payroll. That means having a process to pay your staff… and the taxman! What does PAYE stand for?

  • A. Payroll And Your Earnings
  • B. Plan And You’ll Earn
  • C. Pay As You Earn
  • D. Play As You Eat

3. You’ve found your ideal employee. You want to offer them the job. What are you legally required to check before you appoint them?

  • A. Their religious and political beliefs
  • B. Their legal right to work in the UK
  • C. The size of uniform they’ll need
  • D. Whether they want to work full-time or part-time

4. Uh-oh, there’s been an accident at work. An employee has slipped and hurt themselves. Luckily you’ve taken out the legally required insurance to pay compensation and other costs. What insurance did you take out?

  • A. Employment Legal Expenses Insurance
  • B. Personal Life Insurance
  • C. Employee Health Insurance
  • D. Employers’ Liability Insurance

5. You run a café and don’t collect any data from your customers. Do you need to register with the UK data protection regulator?

  • A. No, you’re fine so long as you don’t collect customer data
  • B. Yes, because you process staff data
  • C. No, staff data is exempt from GDPR laws
  • D. Not sure

6. What poster do you have to display in your workplace (or issue equivalent leaflet)?

  • A. Information poster from the Health and Safety Executive
  • B. Information poster about working hours and break times
  • C. Motivational poster of a kitten on a washing line, saying ‘Hang in there, guys’
  • D. There are no legally required posters

Ready to check your answers? Scroll on...


1 = D

As you might have guessed, the correct answer is ‘all and the above…and then some!’ There are lots of legal requirements when you become an employer. Remember, these are to protect you and your employees, so they’re worth doing. And you can face hefty fines if you don’t. It’s a carrot and stick situation…so go for the carrot.

2 = C

The right answer is ‘Pay As You Earn’. It’s the UK government’s system to collect income tax directly from employers on behalf of their employees. PAYE is why – as a worker – you have tax taken out of your wages.

3 = B

If you said ‘Their legal right to work in the UK’, give yourself a virtual high five. That’s the right answer. Before you employ someone, you must check they’re allowed to work in the UK. If you don’t – you guessed it – you can face a financial penalty. The website has an online tool to guide you through the types of documentation they accept.

4 = D

It is Employers’ Liability insurance that you bought! As soon as you become an employer, you must have EL that covers you for at least £5m and comes from an authorised insurer. You can face massive fines for not complying with this…and rightly so. Employee protection is paramount.

5 = B

Any individual or organisation that processes personal data needs to pay a data protection fee to the Information Commissioners’ Office. As an employer, you’ll be recording sensitive personal identification information, such as name, address, date of birth and more. So yes, you need to register.

6 = A

Employers are required, by law, to display an approved Health and Safety Executive poster. Or provide their employees with the equivalent leaflet. If you’ve noticed a theme here, it is because employee safety is really important, legally and morally. Check out for more info

What did you score? Scroll on to check out your recruitment ranking...

What did you score?

1-2 out of 6 – Recruitment Rookie

Oh dear. You might need the staff but you need to do some more homework first! Don’t worry. This stuff isn’t common knowledge. You only know it when you need to. Check out our essential guide to HR for startups to learn more about your legal responsibilities as an employer.

3-5 out of 6 – Rising star

Ok, not too bad. You’ve got good general awareness about your legal responsibilities as an employer. The future looks bright for you and your future team. Wondering if you're ready to recruit? Ask yourself these seven questions before hiring staff.

6 out of 6 – Recruitment rock star

Whoa there, Richard Branson! Have you done this before? Top marks for you, boss-to-be. You’re on the top of your game when it comes to employment law. You might be ready to recruit. Our 8-step guide has step-by-step information about how to hire staff.

Further reading

Download your Ultimate Guide to Starting a Business now, for free!