Advanced search

Looking into starting a service but not sure where to start regarding employees

(7 Posts)
RattieofCatan Tue 10-Feb-15 19:26:12

I can just go straight into offering the service and seeing where it leads, but if it is something that works I'll need to have another person working with me quite soon. It is a service similar to a cleaning service (but not solely a cleaning service). Around here some companies employ their cleaners, and some have them be self-employed.

I'm a nanny and the agencies have temp staff who are both employed by the them and self-employed. So if you do nursery-type work you go through on their books, if you do ad-hoc nannying that you get through them you do it on your own books (and I'm assuming that they charge a fee to the client separately).

In my employed nanny position I have my hours, and any extra goes through my self-employed books as I have full choice as to whether I take the extra work or not and treat it as ad-hoc work (I do a bit of ad-hoc work for various people, not just my employers)

I have somebody who would happily take on the role and they have experience with part of the role, she was self-employed in her last role and I'm not sure what I would need to do legally. I am hoping to have her work one or two days a week, depending on what clients I end up having and their needs. I would want to assure a minimum amount of hours and set days per week before taking her on so I will make sure that I have the regular work available and any extra would be done at her discretion. So with the guarantee of work and set hours would it be a case of me being her employer? If so, how do the cleaning companies around here get away with having their staff be self-employed?

Also, how much am I supposed to be aiming to make per hour for the company whilst she is working? Other agencies pay varying amounts to their cleaners and obviously, some aren't employers so don't need to worry about the costs on top of gross wage.

If I had casual workers as well, would it be okay to have them self employed and just call to see when/if they are available when I do get extra work coming in? A bit like how the nanny agencies do it? Not that I should be in a situation where I need it for a few years, I'm hoping that between me and my employee working part time we'll be able to cover most jobs for at least 2 years, though if I needed to take on more people before that then great smile

I do need to find a business advisor, but at the moment I am working out what I can of the business plan so that I can walk in and talk to them confident in what I want to do and confident that it will work.

Hoppinggreen Wed 11-Feb-15 20:09:47

I believe that on theory website HMRC have a section on whether someone is employed or self employed.

RattieofCatan Wed 11-Feb-15 20:33:40

They do, it's not very helpful though. I've read it numerous times. It's that which makes me wonder how cleaning agencies have their "employees" as self-employed and whether that's strictly "right" or not.

Hoppinggreen Thu 12-Feb-15 13:45:34

I very much doubt that unless these cleaners work for several companies or have private clients as well they could call themselves self employed.
It's a common trick employers pull to get out of giving employees the rights they are due.

RattieofCatan Thu 12-Feb-15 20:17:04

Yeah, that's my thought confused I suppose I could do what the nanny agency does and employ those who do regular work for me and have a group of people who I contact if I need last-minute cover/ad-hoc work and have them do it on a SE basis.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sun 15-Feb-15 12:50:32

With cleaners, technically they are employed directly by the clients. So my cleaner came from an agency but because I pay her directly, as do her other clients, she is self-employed. The fee I pay to the agency is for her insurance (apparently). It's all a bit tenuous I think and I'm surprised HMRC are ok with it, but there you go.

One of the main criteria for SE is that the worker choses and sets their own hours - so you could probably get away with that if you have a large ad-hoc 'pool' for casual work, but not for regular employees.

Chat to an accountant - you'll probably be able to get an hour or so of their time for £50 and it will be money well spent.

BallsforEarrings Wed 18-Feb-15 19:44:50

I am on the panel of a domestic cleaning association and have owned several cleaning business' myself over the past 17 years so the following I know about that industry:

There are several different business models as follow:

The cleaning agency will act as match maker and hire self-employed cleaners to send out to clients who pay the cleaners cash direct then the agency gets a finders fee by direct debit from the client each month. Neither the client nor the agency employ the cleaners, they are self employed and responsible for their own tax, this is cheapest and easiest to run but the agency has no legal control over the cleaners performance as they cannot legally train or equip a self-employed person.

The private company - these will employ their staff and appeal to a higher-end client who will pay more for a fully managed premium service, the company has control over the staff's training and equipment and can deliver a higher standard of service as a result. This is not a cheap service to run mainly due to employee statutory costs and carries much more liability costs of which must be passed on to the client however many clients will pay a lot more for the higher level of service which makes this model viable too.

The franchise model is the most expensive to run due to the costs running a huge franchise machine must surely attract however cleaners are on minimum wage and service level is so-so but very reliable, branding brings in more business than this model would ever need so they can charge as they need to without worry. The only exception to the franchise model being the most expensive is when it is an agency franchise which is still very cheap to run as cleaners are self-employed and not equipped by the company.

Hope this explains things!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: