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Self employed confusion

(7 Posts)
springingsun Mon 27-Mar-17 20:39:38

Have name changed as potentially outing.
I've worked as a nanny for a few years and have been self employed (as suggested by the nanny agency I found my original two jobs through). I've worked for several (3) families at a time although you couldn't call it ad hoc work as such- just different families on different days. Now that I've looked into it I'm really not sure I should have ever been self employed. But I'm registered with HMRC and have filled out self assessments. Anyway, fast forward to now and I work with two families. One job will be ending soon and I'll just be working with one family. Will I be burdening them with a lot of extra cost if I ask them to become my employer? Obviously I was self employed when they hired me so it changes things a fair bit! I just want to know exactly what's required of them before I discuss it with them as I feel I'm throwing them in at the deep end by changing the whole set up. Sorry this is so long- I'm confused by the whole situation!

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 27-Mar-17 21:15:54

This is the government criteria that you need to satisfy to be self employed. As a self employed person myself the key ones to satisfy are that you can employ someone else to carry out your told and that you set your own hours.

nannynick Mon 27-Mar-17 21:37:28

A lot is about control. When you hire a plumber, you do so due to needing a specific task done. You may arrange a date and time but you don't have an ongoing commitment to each other. You may never see that plumber again, or you may call them in future.
A babysitter is similar, they come to do a specific task on a mutually agreeable date/time. You may or may not ever get them back again. If you call them they can easily say no.

In neither case would they provide someone else to do the work, though they could retain the right to appoint a subcontractor.

A nanny is not doing a one off booking, it is a ongoing assignment. They might have some control but mutuality of obligation occurs - they are obligated to do the work.

Terms of business / contracts can say whatever the parties concerned like but if a tribunal ever had to make a ruling what would they look at? The frequency of the work? The implied obligation? Who really had control?

nannynick Mon 27-Mar-17 21:43:06

An employer has to do payroll and pay employers National Insurance. They are increasingly having to provide a pension scheme and may have to contribute towards that (it depends on the salary).

So yes, you would be increasing their burden. However you would also most likely be reducing your salary expectation, as you gain benefits like paid holiday, right to notice. So changing to being employed would also require a change to the pay... your pay as someone providing a service is generally higher than it would be if you were an employee.

nannynick Mon 27-Mar-17 21:54:12

For each bit of work done, parents should use the Employment Status Indicator to get a judgement. When in doubt, parents should determine that a nanny is their employee, as it would be very rare for a nanny to be offering a service. Ad hoc care services are more of a grey area in my view as I don't think anyone would say that an evening babysitter is an employee. If they did several evenings every week then they may well be an employer but someone doing a couple of evenings a month without any ongoing obligation, I feel is not an employee but is someone providing a service.

Lack of case law. Lack of specific details from HMRC - they have things for other occupations so why not childcare? As they tackle the Hidden Economy I hope they will look at childcare and be clearer as to where the boundary lies between employment and providing a service.
Would we want them to say that parents had to employ a babysitter? I doubt it. So where is the line drawn between babysitting and nannying?

Voice0fReason Mon 27-Mar-17 21:58:51

Not everyone who is self-employed would be allowed to sub-contract the work. If I book a self-employed babysitter or a cleaner, I expect them to turn up, it would be unacceptable for them to send a replacement.

I could quite legitimately book the same cleaner to come in on a self-employed basis, for a regular time slot every week.

springingsun Mon 27-Mar-17 22:15:57

I agree child care should be looked at as I think I was providing a service rather than being employed when only caring for children one day or one afternoon per week. When I think of cleaners that are self employed who turn up at the same time slot each week (as I did when working for multiple families) I can't see much difference in terms of employment. It's the change in circumstances that have me rethinking things now. Thank you all for your helpful replies

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