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employing a paAs people get older it can be more difficult to live independently at home, but this is what most people would like to do. The obvious solution is to employ a Personal Assistant (PA) or Carer to help.

A Carer or PA can perform a wide range of duties. They can do your shopping and household tasks such as laundry, cleaning and meal preparation, they can accompany you on visits to friends and family or other social events, and they can help with personal care such as washing and dressing. Whatever you need them to do in order to live your life the way you wish to.

When employing a PA, it is important to think through what you will want them to do and to agree this up-front. Their duties should then be entered into an Employment Contract which both you and they will sign, so that it is clear to both parties what the job will entail. The Contract will also contain what the PA can expect from you in return, ie their salary and annual leave allocation. You should get the Contract written and checked by employment law professionals, such as the Legal Team at Stafftax.

Once you know what you want from a PA you have to find one. This can be done either through an agency or you can employ somebody you know, or advertise the position and choose an employee through an interview process. If you are recruiting by yourself, make sure you get a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check – this is what used to be the CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check. You will probably also want references, to be sure that the person is as experienced and capable as you expect from the interview.

Finally, there are certain obligations you undertake when you become an employer - make sure you understand your employee’s rights.

Stafftax provides a checklist for first time employers which you may find helpful.

savings imageWe at Stafftax are campaigning to raise awareness of Auto Enrolment amongst our clients to ensure that everyone is aware of when the new pensions legislation applies to them and what to do when their Staging Date approaches. Many clients will now have received a letter from The Pensions Regulator to advise of when they must provide a workplace pension for their employee; if you have not yet had this letter, we can look up your staging date for you.
We have a service ready for Stafftax clients to use where we manage the majority of your obligations on your behalf and take the administrative burden away.

What will Enable Autoenrol do for you once you have subscribed?

  • Categorise your employee on your Staging Date (there are several categories based on age and salary levels)
  • Calculate pension contributions that you should deduct from your employee’s salary.
  • Complete the required Declaration of Compliance
  • Send all regulatory letters to your employee(s)
  • Each month inform the pension scheme provider about all your and your employee’s pension contributions (the provider will then use this information to make the appropriate deductions through a direct debit)
  • If your employee wishes to opt out, we will carry out the actions required
  • Continue to monitor your employees' status each month
  • Keep comprehensive regulatory auto enrolment records
  • If required, re-enrol your employee every 3 years

What will Enable Autoenrol NOT be able do for you?

  • Choose a Pension Scheme or advise you on which Pension Scheme to use. Not being financial or pensions advisors we are not allowed to do this.
  • Actually make payments to the pension scheme each month as we do not handle any monies. This is done as a direct debit arrangement which should be set-up when you sign up with your chosen pension scheme.

When the time comes to set up your workplace pension and you decide to use Enable Autoenrol, we do have a default service available which will greatly simplify the process. This is designed to make the process much more straightforward however you can divert away from any elements of the default service if you wish.

What is the default service?

  • Enable Autoenrol will set up NEST pensions as your pension scheme on your behalf
  • The contributions will be the current statutory minimum contributions based on Qualifying Earnings (to read more about qualifying earnings, click here)
  • There will be no optional contributions
  • There will be no postponement
  • The salary agreement you have with your nanny will stay the same

If you have any specific queries about this blog or any queries related to auto enrolment, send them across to support@enableautoenrol.co.uk or call our auto enrolment specialists on 020 3137 4573.

holiday blogPro rata is Latin for "a proportion of". 

A full time employee is entitled to 5.6 weeks of annual leave per annum. That is, 28 days a year if they work five days a week (5.6 X 5). This includes bank holidays, although whether they take the bank holidays or other days is to be agreed between the employer and the employee.

Therefore, proportional holiday for people who work a different number of days per week can be calculated by multiplying the number of days per week they work by 5.6. So somebody who works three days a week will be entitled to 16.8 days annual leave per annum (5.6 X 3).

If your employee works different hours on different days, then you should work out their annual leave in hours rather than days – because obviously it would be unfair if they worked 12 hours on some days and six hours on others and took all the 12-hour days as holiday. So if they have an uneven working pattern, simply multiply the number of hours they work per week by 5.6. So somebody who works 25 hours per week would be entitled to 140 hours holiday per annum.  

14 December 2015

fluffy towelsWe are often asked if domestic staff can be self-employed and therefore sort out their own Tax and National Insurance.

There are advantages and disadvantages to hiring a self-employed person to do a job versus employing somebody directly. Obviously if somebody is self-employed you do not have to sort out their payroll, tax and national insurance, etc. Nor are you responsible for their pension, health and safety at work, and so on. However you also have less control over their work and they may not always be available to you as they will probably work for other clients as well.

Under HMRC rules a worker is considered 'employed' if they:

  • have to do the work themselves
  • can be told at any time what to do, where to carry out the work or when and how to do it
  • work a set amount of hours
  • can be moved from task to task
  • are paid by the hour, week or month
  • can be paid overtime or receive bonus payments

A worker is considered 'self-employed' if they:

  • can hire someone else to do their work or engage helpers at their own expense
  • risk their own money
  • provide the main items of equipment needed to do their job, not just the small tools that many employees provide for themselves
  • agree to do a job for a fixed price regardless of how long the job may take
  • can decide what work to do, how and when to do the work and where to provide the services
  • regularly work for a number of people
  • have to correct unsatisfactory work in their own time and at their own expense

NB. Please note that these lists are not exhaustive.

If you hire somebody who is self-employed please ask to see evidence that they are, because if they have not been granted self-employed status and HMRC find out that you are employing them, you will be liable for unpaid tax, national insurance and fines.

10 December 2015

autoenrolment monstaAutomatic Enrolment is a way of implementing Workplace Pensions introduced in legislation by the government in order to help workers save for their retirement. By this law all employers must have a pension scheme available for their employees. Employers are also required to enrol workers into their pension scheme and contribute to the pension if their employees are aged between 22 and the state pension age and if they earn over the tax free allowance (currently £10,000 a year). If they do not meet these criteria, employees still have the right to have a pension, but are not automatically enrolled into it.  

What If My Employee Does Not Want A Pension?

Employees who meet the criteria to be automatically enrolled into a pension but do not want one may 'opt out' – however there is no option to not enrol them into the pension in the first place. If they opt out within a month of being enrolled into the pension then the pension contributions are refunded.

Who Contributes To The Pension?

The employer, the employee and the government all have to contribute to Autoenrolment pensions. Contributions are being increased over time as follows:

Dates Employer Employee Government Total
Present until 30th September 2017 1% 0.8% 0.2% 2%
1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018 2% 2.4% 0.6% 5%
1 October 2018 onwards 3% 4% 1% 8%

The contributions are a percentage of the gross salary.

When Do I Need To Have This Set Up?

Every employer has been allocated a 'staging date' which is the date by which they need to have their autoenrolment pension up and running. Your staging date will depend on certain criteria including when you started to employ and how many employees you have.

We are writing to all our clients a year in advance of their staging date, and then six months, four and two months before as well, to make sure that you are well informed of the situation and can take advantage of our Auto Enrolment service if you so wish. However if any client of ours would like to know their staging date more than a year in advance to feel free to call and ask us.

07 December 2015

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