The ‘duties start date’ is the date the employer duties start to apply to the employer, ie the date the first worker begins to be employed by them. For most employers working out the date their first worker began to be employed by them will be straightforward.
The date that the first worker begins to be employed is the date from which the worker’s contract with the employer takes effect, ie the contractual start of employment.
It does not matter whether the worker is going to be paid above or below the lower earnings limit for national insurance. Even if the employer is not required to set up a PAYE scheme by His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) the employer duties and safeguards will start to apply to them from the date their first worker begins to be employed by them (see paragraphs 22 to 29).
Please note this information is subject to updates, and you can find more in-depth information here.