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Mrs C A – Whitchurch
|An example: a net wage agreement can be costly|
Domestic employment is one of the last professions left in the UK where wages are still commonly agreed on the basis of net (i.e. take-home) pay. It is surprising that net pay arrangements are still so common, especially when you bear in mind the financial implications at stake, both for the employer and the employee.
The difference between a net and a gross wage can be as much as 50%.Stafftax has been advising parents for many years to always discuss and agree salaries in gross terms for many years, yet we frequently receive calls from potential employers who are unaware of the real cost involved with domestic employment. Once they find out that the difference can be as much as 50% many realise they can't afford to employ them at all, or they decide to only declare part of the salary in an attempt to save money, which not only is illegal but also has real-life implications for the employee.
By agreeing a net wage with your employee you are effectively agreeing to pay all their taxes, whatever these may be. In other words a domestic employee on a net wage agreement will always take home the same amount no matter what their particular tax code is or whether they have unpaid tax from a previous place of work. This may be good for them; however, for you it could prove to be a costly decision.
Consider the following:
If the employee is not on a standard tax code or there is unpaid or underpaid tax from previous employment, it could become even more expensive. To read more about the pitfalls of agreeing a net wage from an employer's point of view, please click here.
*tax year 2008/2009
|Can domestic staff be self-employed?|
"Can't I just ask my employee to sort out their own tax?" this is a question we're frequently asked by potential employers. 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 you, as the employer, are absolutely certain whether it is your responsibility or theirs to declare tax and NI.
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 self-employment status to domestic workers. It is very important to remember that if you take on domestic staff who was previously self-employed they should contact the Revenue and request confirmation in writing that their status still applies in the new position.
|Make sure your employee is legally entitled to work in the UK|
All UK employers are now required by law to make basic checks on every person they intend to employ in order to establish that they have a right to work in the UK and are here legally. You must not make assumptions based on the person's appearance or accent.