The short answer is that yes, you can take on an employee who doesn’t have a P45. We explain what to do when your new recruit doesn’t seem to have a P45.
What is a P45 form?
Put simply, a P45 form is a document which demonstrates how much tax you have paid on your salary during the financial year. Each employee receives this as a reference when employment ends.
Their next employer uses the information on the employee’s P45 form to record their new starter with HMRC. It also helps them to move the employee over on to their payroll system.
Why doesn’t my new employee have a P45?
There are lots of possible reasons, so we can’t speak on behalf of every P45-less employee you might stumble across. Usually these boil down to two main reasons:
This is the first job the person has had, and therefore they don’t have any tax or PAYE documentation from previous employers.
The person is taking on a secondary job, so isn’t leaving one company for another.
What should I do if a new member of staff doesn’t have a P45?
If you do find yourself recruiting a new member of the team who doesn’t come with a P45 then you’ll need to complete HMRC’s New Starter Checklist. This simple checklist was put in place to replace the old P46 forms, which are no longer in use.
In the absence of a P45, the checklist enables you to gather all of the information you’ll need to set an employee up on your PAYE system, including things like:
Loan commitments (including student loans)
National Insurance number
This checklist is available to fill in digitally or as a printable document. Employees only need to provide this information to their employer, rather than sending the form to HMRC.
An experienced Payroll professional, I hold a CIPP Diploma in Payroll Management and have been working in the sector since 2003. In my spare time I like to be with my friends and family, or doing a spot of pilates.