|“Your service has been first class.”
Mr R H – London SW22
|National minimum wage & the working time directive|
It is a criminal offence for an employer to pay below the national minimum wage (except for exemptions - see below), currently carrying a fine of up to £5,000. The national minimum wage normally increases every year in October. For details on the current national minimum wage rate, please refer to our rates and thresholds page.
Only domestic staff who live as part of the family are exempt from the national minimum wage. An employee who lives as part of the family household, is treated as a member of the family, and is not provided with separate accommodation is excluded from the national minimum wage. For employers who provide separate accommodation for their employees there is an allowance per seven-day week, which can be offset against the national minimum wage hourly rate.
The working time directive
|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.
|Employing European nationals|
Most nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA) can enter and work in the UK without restrictions. You will need to ask nationals from all EEA countries to produce a document showing their nationality since their are specific restrictions for certain nationalities.