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Home Employers employment guide
What you need to know when employing domestic staff PDF Print E-mail

When you employ domestic staff in the UK you become an employer and as such you take on a host of responsibilities. For instance, you have to draw up an employment contract with your employee within two months of their start date and you must give your employee a payslip every time they get paid.

It is a legal responsibility that you have employer’s liability insurance, and you must also make sure that you pay your employee at least the national minimum wage or above.

In addition you need to have a good understanding of the basics of employment law, because it’s surprisingly easy to make mistakes when you're juggling issues such as holiday entitlement, statutory sick pay, benefits in kind, statutory maternity pay and redundancy pay.

Stafftax has 20 years' experience in doing payroll for domestic employers, and our website is packed with essential information for new as well as experienced employers. Use the Stafftax website as a resource to familiarise yourself with all your legal obligations and don't hesitate to contact us if you have further questions.

 

employment law

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.

Read more...

employment costs

Benefits in kind

Benefits in kind are sometimes provided by the employer in addition to the employee's salary. They are often taxable benefits and must be reported annually as part of employee's gross earnings.

Who pays the tax?
Benefits in kind offer a good example of why it is important to agree a gross wage with your employee. In almost all other types of employment the employee is always responsible for paying the tax on benefits. But as many domestic staff have net pay arrangements it means that you, the employer, are responsible for paying this tax, which can potentially be a very expensive experience.

Tax on benefits in kind is payable in arrears and is not reported until July following the end of the tax year. Sometimes it can take up to two years before payments are claimed by HMRC, and during the interim your employee can have moved from one job to another, leaving the new employer responsible for paying what can in some cases be a very large sum of money. If your employee is on a gross wage, however, then the tax is deduced from their gross income at their current rate of tax.

In addition to tax there may also be a Class 1A NI charge of 12.8% of the value of the benefit to be paid - the employer always pays this charge.

Examples of taxable benefits

  • Car
  • Accommodation
  • Health Club Membership
  • Travel
  • Interest Free Loan

NB: PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS LIST IS NOT EXHAUSTIVE.

Mobile phones are not considered a taxable benefit

Use of Car
The use of a car is not considered a taxable benefit if your employee only uses it during working hours. If however your employee is permitted to take the car home and use it as a means to get to and from work, then it must be reported as a benefit in kind.

Accommodation
If accommodation is provided for the employee and it has a separate front door and separate metering for gas, water and electricity, it is considered a taxable benefit and must be reported as such.

Please note that the information and examples contained on this page are to be used as guidelines only. If you have specific questions please contact Stafftax.