Recruiting and hiring

Last updated: 8 January 2019

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.

Equality monitoring

You don't have to track how many job applications you receive 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 can't show their documents

Recruiting disabled people

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

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

Visit GOV.UK for more information on:

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

Employing ex-offenders

Employers shouldn't turn someone down for a job because they've been convicted of an offence if their conviction is 'spent'.

Job applicants also don't have to tell potential employers about spent convictions.

Visit GOV.UK for more information on:

  • what counts as a spent conviction
  • cautions
  • exceptions

Criminal record checks in Scotland are carried out by Disclosure Scotland.

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