Starting a new job? What’s with all the paperwork?

If you are about to start a new job as a PA or take on a 2nd or even 3rd job (to make up sufficient hours) there are some really important things you need to be aware of make sure your first few weeks go well and you don’t find yourself paying too much tax!

The main thing to remember is that the person who is employing you i.e. the person you are going to providing care and support for or a family member, may not have much experience of being an employer and all the responsibilities that come with it. For this reason it is important to be aware of the basics needed yourself.


Check that the following are in place

  • You are being paid at least the national minimum wage (£6.50, £6.70 from 1 October 2015) for all the hours you’re working but not including rest breaks or traveling from one job to another.
  • If necessary, you have been asked to provide confirmation that you have the legal right to work in the UK (e.g. passport, utility bills etc)
  • Your DBS check (used to be CRB) is up-to-date. Your employer may be able to pay for this through their direct payment if they are not funding their own care.
  • Insurance to make sure you are fully covered whilst at work. This will be paid for by your employer through their direct payment normally through a company called Fish or Premier who specialise in insurance for people employing PAs
  • A written contract of employment within 4 weeks of starting your job (see May newsletter on self-employment), which includes the details of the job, including terms and conditions, notice periods etc (see the June newsletter on Pensions). Active independence and Skills for Care have templates of suitable contracts
  • You have been registered with HMRC through the person’s payroll service within the 1st 4 weeks.
  • You have given your new employer your P45 from your last employer or you have completed a New Starter Checklist (this has replaced the P46).



You’ll get a P45 from your employer when you stop working for them, usually with your last pay slip. It shows how much tax you’ve paid on your salary so far in the tax year (6 April to 5 April).

A P45 has 4 parts. Part 1, Part 1A, Part 2 and Part 3:

  • Your employer/payroll sends details for Part 1 to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and gives you the other parts.
  • You give Part 2 and 3 to your new employer (or to Jobcentre Plus if you’re not working).
  • Keep Part 1A for your own records.

By law your employer must issue a P45. If you do not get one, ask for it!


Starter checklist

If you don’t have a P45:

  • You won’t have a P45 if you’re starting your first job or you’re taking on a second job.
  • The payroll service will need to work out how much tax you should be paying on your salary.
  • They may give your employer a ‘Starter Checklist’ to collect the information. This has questions about any other jobs, benefits or student loans you have. It helps them work out your correct tax code before your first payday.

If you don’t give your new employer your P45 then you will be taxed at the basic rate on your wages until you contact HMRC yourself and give them your correct tax code. Your employer can’t contact HMRC on your behalf.

If this does happen you will get this money back once you have spoken with HMRC, usually paid back through the PAYE scheme and will show as a refund on your pay slip. If you contact HMRC and they change your tax code both you and your employer will get a letter informing you of your new tax code. Always mention to your employer that you have received a new tax code.



You should keep documents about your pay and tax, including:

  • P45 – if you leave your job, this shows your pay and tax to the date you left
  • P60 – if you’re in a job on 5 April, this shows your pay and tax for the tax year

You should keep any documents relating to:

  • Social Security benefits
  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • Statutory maternity, paternity or adoption pay
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance