information for domestic workers
All domestic employers in the UK are required by law to pay at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW). It is a criminal offence for an employer to pay below the NMW, carrying a fine of up to £5,000 on conviction, unless you're living as part of the family household (i.e. without separately metered accommodation). For current NMW rates, please refer to our rates and thresholds page.
Domestic employees are exempt from the measures concerning working hours but are entitled to a 20 minute rest break for every six hours worked.
|Domestic workers & self employment|
"Can I sort out my own tax and National Insurance?" this is a question we're frequently asked by domestic workers. Whether someone is employed or self-employed depends on the terms and conditions of their work. It is important for all employees to know their employment status as it affects employment and benefit rights, and how to pay tax and National Insurance Contributions.
It is equally important that the employer is absolutely certain whether their employee is employed or self-employed.
How to determine employment status
A worker is probably considered self-employed if they:
*Please note that these lists are not exhaustive.
The exception to the rule
However in some cases HMRC do grant domestic workers self-employment status. It's important to remember, though, that transfer of self-employment status between jobs is not automatic, and each situation will need to be considered individually.
So in the vast majority of cases a domestic employee will be employed and it is up to their employer to register with HMRC, operate a PAYE scheme and pay tax and National Insurance Contributions on their behalf. Failure to declare an employee to avoid paying tax and NI is a criminal offence which can result in heavy penalties. It also affects statutory entitlements such as unemployment benefit, statutory maternity pay and state pension.