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Employing someone to work in your home

Source: HM Revenue & Customs | | 10/10/2017

When you employ someone to work in your home, it is your responsibility to meet their employee's rights and deduct the correct amount of tax from their salary. This can include domestic staff such as a nanny, housekeeper, gardener or carer. The rules are different if the person is self-employed or paid through an agency.

If you employ anyone they must:

  • have an employment contract
  • be given payslips
  • work no more than the maximum hours allowed per week
  • be paid at least the national minimum wage.

A domestic employee is also entitled to employee rights such as statutory maternity pay, statutory sick pay, paid holiday, redundancy pay and a workplace pension once they meet the standard eligibility requirements. An employee should also be given minimum notice periods if their employment is to end. Note, that these rules apply even if the domestic employee works on a part-time basis, although some payments depend on earnings or may be adjusted pro-rata. It is also your responsibility to register as an employee, check any employees are allowed to work in the UK and to have employer’s liability insurance. 

Planning note

There are special rules for au pairs because they are not usually considered to be workers or employees. They are not entitled to the national minimum wage or paid holidays. Au pairs are treated as a member of the family they live with and receive 'pocket money' instead of salary. However, they may be liable to income tax and National Insurance if the amount of ‘pocket money’ they receive is high enough.

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