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To just pay our cleaner her hourly rate?

(22 Posts)
Zeeeon Tue 25-Mar-14 10:19:15

I have found a cleaner on Gumtree and she's coming for the first time tomorrow. Am I supposed to be declaring her as an employee somehow? Or will she be self-employed? What else do I need to know?

Bearbehind Tue 25-Mar-14 10:24:35

You are allowing a complete stranger full access to all your belongings and you don't even know what her employment status is hmm

Zeeeon Tue 25-Mar-14 10:29:00

She has references and a CRB and we'll be in, but basically yes - I haven't done this before, what's supposed to happen?

Peekingduck Tue 25-Mar-14 10:33:23

Most cleaners are paid in cash or cheque and sort their own tax out as they are self-employed. Probably would have been ideal to find out how she wants to be paid before she comes, but it's not a big deal. She's not going to be expecting to be your employee!

Bearbehind Tue 25-Mar-14 10:36:41

Seriously, unless you know the people providing the references i'd be very dubious about it all.

a CRB check can just mean she's never been caught before!

In theory she should be self employed and just invoice you for her time like a window cleaner or someone would. You certainly shouldn't have to class her as your employee.

sparechange Tue 25-Mar-14 10:39:17

You pay her weekly, and she then sorts out her own tax etc as a self-employed person
Of course the vast majority won't/don't, but that isn't your issue, and you can always ask her directly if she declares her earnings if it is something that is important to you.

Peekingduck Tue 25-Mar-14 10:40:12

Seriously? I've worked as a cleaner, I advertised in Gumtree and papers shop windows. Had a CRB check, public liability insurance and showed these at the first visit, together with a couple of utility bills as ID.
Most people just find a cleaner, have a chat to them and away they go. They were surprised when I produced paperwork. grin

Bearbehind Tue 25-Mar-14 10:42:35

Blimey, I know someone who had a problem with an agency cleaner stealing things but at least they had come back on the agency - I'm surprised people are so trusting.

TheGirlFromIpanema Tue 25-Mar-14 10:51:28

Of course the vast majority won't/don't, but that isn't your issue, and you can always ask her directly if she declares her earnings if it is something that is important to you

Just wondered if you have any evidence to back up such a sweeping statement re the honesty of domestic cleaners there Sparechange hmm

blahblahblah2014 Tue 25-Mar-14 11:06:05

yeah - commion sense?

sparechange Tue 25-Mar-14 11:12:50

Actual evidence, none
Anecdotaly, all the non-agency cleaners I've used bar my current one have wanted to be paid cash in hand and actively refused to be paid by cheque/bank transfer. That is usually a pretty obvious indicator, which is why paying builders/tradesman by cash is always such a controversial topic on here

LadyMacbethWasMisunderstood Tue 25-Mar-14 11:16:24

I don't think you are unreasonable to accept your cleaner's references and CRB check; especially as you will be at home anyway. Take a while before you give her a key though or let her clean while you are out.

I'd check the references if I were you to be on the safe side.

And yes pay her either her hourly rate or the fixed fee you agree on. I'd pay in cash and ask for a receipt or get her to sign a little book showing she has had the money.

Grennie Tue 25-Mar-14 11:18:17

TheGirl, many poor people do not have bank accounts as they struggle to get one. That is why many pawn shops will cash personal cheques and charge you for it. So there may be legitimate reasons people want to be paid in cash.

In the small company I manage, we employ a part time cleaner. Over the years, not one of them has ever earned enough to pay tax.

TheGirlFromIpanema Tue 25-Mar-14 11:27:59

Grennie it wasn't me casting the aspersions smile

Sparechange and?

I pay all sorts in cash including school, council tax and sometimes a solicitor too. Do you think they are all on the make too?

I believe its only a controversial topic to those who don't understand the way banks charge for business accounts amongst many other perfectly good, reasonable and honest reasons for preferring cash.

sparechange Tue 25-Mar-14 12:00:53

Surely you can see the difference between paying cash for something where you get a receipt and there is a paper trail, vs someone who deliberately doesn't want to create a paper trail?
Anyway, that is derailing this thread, which isn't about the tax status of cleaners
But feel free to look up any of the other threads about paying tradesmen in cash to get the general MN consensus on what it means...

TheGirlFromIpanema Tue 25-Mar-14 13:31:05

I don't need the consensus of MN on this one thanks smile

Its a weird myth that cash payments = tax dodge.

There are so many more variables at play.

To make a statement such as you did is really demeaning to a whole raft of people working in this way hmm

Btw a cash receipt book means nothing, any half clever tax dodger knows you issue vague receipts as a matter of course. Doesn't prove a thing.

There are honest taxpayers, and there are tax dodgers. There is no way to tell who is who based solely on their type of work.


Grennie Tue 25-Mar-14 14:59:27

Part time cleaners are unlikely to be due for tax anyway. Most make too little.

natwebb79 Tue 25-Mar-14 15:06:40

We have a cleaner once a week who I found out about through a friend who was happy with her work. We met her once to go through what we wanted done and now leave �20 on the table every Friday morning and come back to a sparkly house. It's bliss. We didn't check any paper work etc. Sometimes it's nice to just go on word of mouth recommendation and remind yourself that the world isn't just full of fraudsters. grin

GreenPetal94 Tue 25-Mar-14 17:36:50

Yes just pay her (cash). Don't worry too much if you are in the house. If you are leaving her unattended then make sure you have a reference.

Bearbehind Tue 25-Mar-14 18:50:57

natwebb I've no probs with 'word of mouth' recommendations but leaving a random stranger found on the internet, with even partially supervised access (you can't watch them the whole time or you might as well clean yourself) to my house, ain't gonna happen.

WooWooOwl Tue 25-Mar-14 18:59:39

Really not seeing what all the fuss on this thread is about.

Everyone I know who has a cleaner just pays them in cash, you aren't employing her, she will be self employed and her tax affairs are no one else's business but hers and HMRC's.

Proclean Sat 05-Apr-14 11:15:58

Its true you are not her employer and as long as she is registered as self employed with the IR then she is legal to hire whether you pay in cash or otherwise. Does she do receipts - you could ask she will not wish to if she is illegal.

If not then it not legal and YOU could be classed as her employer if the IR got wind of it and then you would be liable to back pay all the tax you should have been submitting as her employer (even though you were not aware that she wasnt registered) You really do need to make sure people are in business legally or it can come back on you fair or not.

Although as a sole trader (if she is) she is not legally obliged to get public liability insurance for herself but DO NOT hire someone who isnt covered. If they were to wreck your expensive items or burn your house down or cause a flood she would not be covered, also if she or any staff she may hire should have an accident on your property you need it to be HER liability not YOURS.

I am in the industry and these two things are key if you hire an individual - make sure they are registered to pay tax and fully insured and then you are safe from liability in any direction.

Obviously check her refs to make sure she is honest too.

I have a cleaning service and will only hire a tiny percent of people since it is such a personal service to be performed in a client's homes. Trust is a HUGE issue - I will not give client's house keys out to just anyone, you should give your house keys just anyone either - check everything, refs, insurance documents, personally I wouldn't pay cash just in case she isnt legal, if she's an above-board service she wont mind if you do BACS transfer or something to pay.

When I was starting out in business I discouraged cash payments as I thought it unprofessional and thought would give the wrong impression but some wanted to pay that way - that's fine too as long as its their preference and not the cleaners.

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