You appear to be using an unsupported browser, and it may not be able to display this site properly. You may wish to upgrade your browser.

Recruiting and hiring

When employing staff you must:

Ways of employing staff

There are a number of different ways to find and employ staff for your business.

The following will give you more information on the different options available to you.

Recruiting employees

Find guidance from Business Gateway on:

  • recruiting full or part-time employees
  • fixed-term contracts
  • agency workers, freelancers and outside contractors

Using recruitment agencies

Employers using agencies to find temporary or permanent workers have certain responsibilities. Visit GOV.UK for more information on:

  • employer's responsibilities
  • additional rights after 12 weeks
  • transfer fees
  • complaining about an agency

Jobcentre Plus

Jobcentre Plus has a range of recruitment services that can help you as an employer.

Visit GOV.UK for information on:

  • recruitment advice and support
  • work trials
  • Work Choice
  • work experience and apprenticeships
  • other employment schemes

Universal Jobmatch

When you advertise a job with Universal Jobmatch, you can:

  • post jobs
  • review CVs
  • get updates on job seekers who match your requirements

Visit the GOV.UK website to find out what you need before you start, and how to use the service.


Apprentices undertake on-the-job training that's relevant to your business. You can encourage your apprentice to progress through several levels of qualifications. In some cases it's possible to get a degree through an apprenticeship.

The website gives information on apprenticeships, how they work and how to take on an apprentice.

Adopt an Apprentice is funding where you can get £2,000 (£5,000 in the oil and gas industry) for hiring a Modern Apprentice who has been made redundant from another employer.

Certificate of Work Readiness

The Certificate of Work Readiness is a work experience programme from Our Skillsforce. It can help you to cost-effectively recruit young people with the right skills for your business.

It also gives young people the chance to demonstrate the value they bring to the workplace.

The Certificate takes around 10 weeks to complete and includes a minimum of 190 hours work experience. This helps them earn an SQA qualification which proves they have the right experience. You then have the reassurance that you're hiring a young person who knows how to perform their role.

Other help recruiting young people

The Our Skillsforce website gives information on other ways to help you recruit, train and pay young people, from short term work placements and internships through to financial support to create full time jobs.

Equality monitoring

You do not have to track how many job applications you get from different groups of people, or the characteristics of the people working for you.

If you collect personal information (like ethnicity, gender, faith, sexuality) about job applicants or staff, you must protect their data.

You must not discriminate against a candidate based on their personal information.

Checking 'right to work' documents

You must check that a job applicant is allowed to work in the UK before you employ them.

Visit GOV.UK for more information on:

  • checking the documents
  • taking a copy of the documents
  • what to do if the applicant cannot show their documents

Recruiting disabled people

The job specification (or requirements) of a vacancy cannot exclude disabled people from applying.

However, some jobs may have an essential requirement which cannot be met with a 'reasonable adjustment'.

Visit GOV.UK for more information on:

  • job specifications
  • encouraging applications
  • reasonable adjustments
  • the Work Choice programme

Employing people with convictions

Most convictions become 'spent' after a certain amount of time, which means they will not be shown on basic disclosures.

Employers should not turn someone down for a job because of a spent conviction.

Job applicants usually do not have to tell employers about spent convictions. However, some spent convictions have to be disclosed on higher level disclosures.

Child employment

The youngest age a child can work part-time is 13, except children involved in areas like television, theatre and modelling.

They can only start full-time work when they reach the minimum school leaving age.

Visit GOV.UK for more information on:

  • the minimum ages children can work
  • paying children and young people
  • performance licenses and supervision for children
  • restrictions on child employment
  • local council rules for child employment permits
Back to top