Employing someone at home

Believe it or not, HMRC will consider you are the employer of a nanny, housekeeper, gardener or anyone else who works in your home if both the following criteria apply:

  • you hire them, and
  • they are not self-employed or paid through an agency.

If these criteria do apply this means you have certain responsibilities, like meeting the employee’s rights and deducting the right tax.

There are special rules for au pairs, who are not usually considered workers or employees.

You are classed as an employer if you pay a carer or personal assistant directly, even if you get money from your local council (‘direct payments’) or the NHS to pay for them.

Anyone you employ must:

  • have an employment contract
  • be given payslips
  • not work more than the maximum hours allowed per week
  • be paid at least the National Minimum Wage

If they meet the eligibility requirements, they are also entitled to things like:

  • Statutory Maternity Pay
  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • paid holiday
  • redundancy pay
  • a workplace pension

In effect, you would be treated as an employer and would need to comply with the usual obligations to register and apply the PAYE regulations.

If you are concerned that you may be affected we can help you set up and maintain the necessary payroll records.

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