Your Go-To HR Checklist Template

12th June 2020

hr checklist

When a member of the HR team decides to leave, it’s vital to get properly prepared for their absence – whether they will be replaced or their work will be absorbed into the rest of the team. Every HR professional has an accumulation of valuable knowledge, that can span everything from processing P11Ds to the intricacies of the GDPR legislation. To help make sure your team isn’t left in the lurch with all sorts of questions, we’ve put together this HR checklist template so that you can make sure you don’t miss anything.

HR Software

Quality HR software should be user-friendly and encompass an array of functionalities. A one-stop system for an HR team’s needs is a superb asset to the department, however, it’s important that everyone in the team knows how to use it. 

While it’s natural that some HR professionals might be more adept at using digital applications than others, all colleagues should have a thorough understanding of your software. If the HR team member who knows the software inside out decides to move on from your company, make sure time is allocated for appropriate training. Other team members must have the opportunity to glean as much information as possible so that they are well-prepared when that person leaves.

Recruitment Processes

There are likely to be tried and tested recruitment processes in place for your company, which all members of the HR team should be familiar with. Make sure each member knows about:

  • Job description formatting
  • Where jobs are advertised
  • Preferred agencies
  • Interview procedures
  • Communication methods
  • Onboarding processes

While of course, these are likely to change over time, if there are company standards that are expected to be followed, the whole HR team must be aware of them. Ensure that all processes and procedures are properly documented for reference.

Employee Benefits

If your company offers incentives and benefits to employees, such as medical plans or company cars, the HR team must have a good understanding of how these work. Whether or not such benefits are arranged through the HR team, visibility of them is necessary so that the benefits can be properly recorded to HMRC for tax purposes.

It’s also helpful for the HR team to know about employee benefits so that if/when staff choose to leave your company, they can make the necessary changes. This might be ending a dental plan, or requesting the return of company property such as a laptop or car.

Payroll Processes

In some companies the HR team is also responsible for running payroll; an often complex and time-consuming task. This is especially so if you have both weekly paid and salaried staff. Making sure your whole HR team know how to run payroll is vital. All too often companies have one or two staff members responsible for this, and should they leave the company the rest of the team is left to struggle if payroll hasn’t been properly handed over during the HR checklist.

One solution to this common problem is to consider outsourcing your payroll. By opting for this kind of service, it’s possible to free up your HR team for other work such as concentrating on employee engagement and workplace health and safety. It could also potentially negate the need to replace the member of HR who is leaving.

Employee Training

Regardless of the sector or industry your company works in, your staff are likely to require annual – if not more frequent – training of some sort. This could be to do with company processes, Health & Safety, safeguarding legislation, or something else. Arranging such training usually falls within the remit of the HR team, therefore they should all have access to the required information.

All members of the team should be aware of which employees need which training and when, how it should be carried out, and any certification required. This information should be recorded in a clear and accessible way, so that any new HR professionals that come onboard have no problem implementing it.

Health & Safety

Another responsibility of the HR team is to be aware of UK Health and Safety legislation, and implement all the required actions across the company. Depending on your industry this could be relating to the latest in ‘working from a height’ laws, or those surrounding insurance and licencing in engineering or electric works. In an office, there is also legislation regarding matters such as signage, room capacity, and walkways.

Fire safety is another aspect that HR professionals must be aware of. There should be allocated fire safety representatives who are responsible for taking registration in the event of a fire, and for aiding other employees. While these do not necessarily need to be members of the HR team, the HR team should be aware of who has taken on this role.

Disciplinary Procedures

While no HR professional enjoys this part of the role, the fact of the matter is that it’s vital for all members of the HR team to be aware of the disciplinary procedures for your company. They should be well-informed of the entire process, covering:

  • 1st (2nd/3rd) written warnings
  • Invitations to disciplinary hearings
  • The procedures of a disciplinary hearing
  • Contesting a warning or disciplinary
  • Dismissal procedures

It’s not only company policies but also UK employment law that must be taken into account and adhered to. Much UK employment law is designed to protect the employee – especially if they are considered vulnerable such as with sickness or pregnancy. This means it’s imperative for HR professionals to have a thorough understanding, to support the company during disciplinary procedures.

Performance Evaluation

Performance evaluations are an important part of a manager’s job that is often orchestrated via HR. These usually include an annual appraisal for each member of staff, as well as team meetings to discuss the overall goals of the company and how each team feeds into this. Performance evaluation procedures will usually be included in the company policies/staff handbook, but it is often up to the HR team to ensure they are carried out.

All elements of arranging appraisals and other performance evaluations should be understood and carefully maintained by the HR team. This responsibility should ideally not be left to one member of the team; it should be shared so that it can be sustained in the event that someone leaves.


There are a number of auditing bodies that might require access to your company data in order to check legislative compliance. There could be more of these if your company is ISO or Investors in People accredited. The role of auditors is to check records and procedures to make sure everything is in order, and standards are being met.

It’s often the HR team’s responsibility to help arrange these and to make all the necessary preparations. The whole team should be aware of what’s involved, and be prepared to answer questions and give information on a variety of company policies.

Legislation & Compliance

Employment law in the UK dictates a range of necessary procedures for all workplaces. These cover everything from maternity law and annual leave to tax administration. Your HR team should keep abreast of changes to the law, and have a thorough knowledge about how to achieve and maintain compliance.

Not one aspect of UK legislation should be taken care of by just one member of staff, because such an action could prove to be hugely detrimental should that person leave. If other members of the team lack in legislation knowledge, your company could quickly become non-compliant and be liable for penalties such as fines.

HR Checklist Template

Print this snapshot of the HR checklist template to help make sure your HR team does not suffer any more than it needs to if someone leaves.

HR Software

Is the remaining team fully trained on your HR software, and do they have a good understanding of how it works?

Recruitment Processes

Make sure there is documentation regarding all stages of the recruitment process, from writing job descriptions to onboarding a new member of staff.

Employee Benefits

Ensure that you whole HR team know about processing employee benefits, and specifically what they are responsible for arranging and reporting.

Payroll Processes

If payroll is carried out by HR staff, confirm that they are all aware of how these often complex processes work. Otherwise, consider payroll outsourcing.

Staff Training

Keep a record of which employees need what training and when, so that members of HR have visibility over what they should be arranging.

Health & Safety

Make sure every member of the HR team is aware of the latest Health and Safety legislation, and fire safety procedures.

Disciplinary Procedures

Your company disciplinary procedures should be properly documented. These, along with UK employment law, should be fully understood by the HR team.

Performance Evaluation

Check that the whole team knows about the company’s performance evaluation procedures, including annual appraisals.


Ensure your whole HR team knows what to expect during an audit, and is prepared to provide all the required information and documents.

Legislation & Compliance

UK employment law should be a focus for your HR professionals so that they all know how to stay compliant to protect your company.

New HR Manager Checklist

While it’s important that every member of your HR team has a broad knowledge and understanding covering all of the above areas, this is particularly true of a new HR manager.

The HR manager should be an expert in all these aspects and be well-equipped to guide other staff and managers as and when it’s necessary. To hire a new HR manager, the same checklist should be followed but perhaps a more thorough knowledge should be tested.

The tasks that fall under the responsibility of an HR team can differ from company to company, however, some experience and understanding in all of the areas above should be expected. If your HR team is stretched too thin, there are ways to free up their time and make things a little easier, such as by outsourcing payroll or adopting the right HR software. Services such as P11D processing can also be utilised to help ease the burden of an already busy department. Find out more about making HR easier.