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information for domestic workers

Current tax thresholds
Your employer must register and deduct NI from your salary if you are paid £153 or more per week. Your employer must also register if you have another job, even if you are paid below the threshold.

If you are paid between £111 and £153 and you do not have another job, your employer should still register with HMRC although no Tax and NI will be due. This will enable you to receive state pension and other benefits. Tax is only deductable if you are paid £192* or more per week and you do not have another job.

Tax and NI payments
If your employer's monthly Tax and NI bill is below £1,500 they only have to pay Tax and NI to HMRC on a quarterly basis.

Payment dates
19 April 2014
19 July 2014
19 October 2014
19 January 2014

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
The current rate is £87.55 per week.

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
The first six weeks of SMP are at 90% of average gross weekly earnings. The remaining weeks of the maternity pay period (up to a maximum of 33 weeks) are paid at the lower rate of £138.18 gross per week, or 90% if lower.

Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP)
New fathers are entitled to two weeks' SPP, with a right to a further 13 weeks of unpaid leave. The current rate is £138.18 gross per week.

Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP)
The current rate of SAP is £138.18 gross per week.

Redundancy pay entitlement
Aged between 18 and 21: half a week’s pay, or £225, whichever is lower
Aged between 22 and 40: one week’s pay, or £450, whichever is lower,
Between 41 and retirement: one and a half week’s pay, or £675, whichever is lower
Please note that you qualify for a multiple of the above for every year of continuous employment (for the same employer).

National Minimum Wage (NMW), effective from 1 October 2014
£3.79 per hour gross for employees aged between 16 and 17
£5.13 per hour gross for employees aged between 18 and 20
£6.50 per hour gross for employees aged 21 years and over

Offset allowance per 7-day week: £34.37 (effective from 1 October 2013)

Student Loan Recovery
If you have a student loan and are earning £16,910 gross per year, £1,409.16 gross per month, £325.19 gross per week or more, your employer must deduct student loan repayments form your salary.

*providing you are on a standard tax code

These rates are effective from 6 April 2014. The rates will be updated as and when they become available.

Home Domestic workers frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions PDF Print E-mail

Q: My employers say that because I'm a domestic worker I don't need to pay tax and National Insurance. Is this true?
A: If you earn more than £110 per week it is your employer's legal responsibility, not yours, to set up and operate a PAYE (Pay As You Earn) scheme on your behalf and to declare your wages with HMRC - if they fail to do so they are breaking the law.

Q: How do I know if my employer is paying my tax and National Insurance Contributions?
A: If you receive regular payslips this is usually a good indication that your employer is declaring your wages with HMRC. However, if you want to be absolutely certain then ask your employer for your PAYE reference number. If you want to apply for a loan or a mortgage your bank or building society often require this - so you don't have to feel uncomfortable asking your employer for it.

Q: Do I qualify for sick pay?
A: You are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you are sick for more than three consecutive days. Please refer to the rates and thresholds page for current SSP rates. Statutory Sick Pay can be paid instead or as part of your normal rate of pay, at your employer's discretion. Your employer may be able to reclaim some of the costs from the state.

Q: Do I qualify for holiday pay?
A: Yes. New holiday legislation has now been introduced and as of April 2009 all employers are required to give full time employees all 8 bank holidays as paid leave in addition to the 4 weeks. That means that all employees will now be entitled to 5.6 weeks holiday per year.

If you work on a part-time basis and you want to know how many days you are entitled to, simply multiply the number of days you work each week with 5.6. The total should be rounded up to the nearest 1/2 day.

Q: Should my employer pay me for working on bank holidays?
A: You are entitled to 8 bank holidays as paid days off, however they do not necessarily have to be given (or taken) on the bank holidays themselves. For one-off holidays, such as the Millennium or the Queen's Jubilee you are entitled to a day's paid holiday.

Q: Should I complete a tax return?
A: No, providing all your income comes from employment. However, if you are a live-in employee and you own a flat or house, which you rent out, you do need to complete a tax return.

Q: I'm pregnant; do I qualify for maternity pay?
A: To qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) you have to have been employed for a minimum of 26 weeks (six months) prior to the 'notification week' (NW). The 'notification week' is 15 weeks before the baby is due. SMP is payable for a maximum period of 39 weeks. The first six weeks of SMP are at 9/10ths of your average gross weekly earnings and the remaining weeks of the maternity pay period (up to a maximum of 33 weeks) are paid at the current SMP rate or continue at 9/10ths of the average gross earnings, whichever is the lower. Please refer to the rates and thresholds page for current Statutory Maternity Pay rates.

Q: I'm going on maternity leave; can I bring my baby with me when I return to work?
A: This is at your employer's discretion. You have a right to return to work following maternity leave, but only on the same terms as you were previously employed.

Q: My employer has been made redundant and no longer has a job for me. Do I qualify for redundancy pay?
A: If you have been in continuous employment for two years or more and you are over 18 you are entitled to redundancy pay - providing you are not on a fixed-term contract. You would also qualify for redundancy pay if the household you work for moves to a different part of the country, providing there is no relocation clause in your contract.