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Paying cleaners and govt help for self-employed

(23 Posts)
Ali85 Mon 06-Apr-20 15:54:22

I know a lot of people on here have been continuing to pay cleaners etc in the lockdown and I wondered whether anyone knew how that affects the help that the govt have offered for self-employed people?

We have a cleaner twice a month and I paid her in full when she was last due to come as at that stage things were all very unclear. She would normally be due again tomorrow (though obviously not coming). DH is adamant that we shouldn't pay her as that is what the Govt help is for, so either she will get paid 180% or she won't be able to claim as much as she won't have made a loss. Is he right? Of course I am also worried about the fact that she won't get any money from the Govt for 2 months and might well need us to pay now anyway.

NB I have looked at lots of previous threads on cleaners and coronavirus and can't find an answer to this.

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roses2 Mon 06-Apr-20 16:00:06

Well - it depends on how much she is declaring to the tax man. The self employed cleaners where I live are mostly paid cash so I doubt they will be getting much help....

iMatter Mon 06-Apr-20 16:02:06

If she is getting help from the government she can't take money from you

Ali85 Mon 06-Apr-20 16:07:34

Is that right iMatter, you can't claim if you get paid by clients?

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Peapod29 Mon 06-Apr-20 16:10:02

I believe you can still work as well as claiming the 80% self employed pay, just as those furloughed can seek other employment. The self employed pay won’t be available till June so If you can afford to pay her I would.

iMatter Mon 06-Apr-20 16:19:54

You can take on new work if you are an employee and furloughed from your job as long as your contract permits it. For example if you are furloughed from your job in an office you can get a job in a supermarket (as long as your contract permits it)

You can't claim AND be paid for the same job. Or (as my mate's arsehole boss suggested) carry on working while your boss claims furlough so he saves 80% of your salary

Peapod29 Mon 06-Apr-20 16:30:42

My understanding was that you can continue to work as self employed and out in a claim for the grant in June. Everything I’ve read on it says so. Money saving expert says
Unlike the employee scheme, here you CAN keep working. You also do not need to prove coronavirus impact – all who qualify get it.

I suppose the thinking is the vast majority of SE people will have income affected one way or another and they can’t possibly weight it up on a case by case basis. I think the decent thing to do is to continue to pay cleaners if your income has been unaffected. Lots will be losing clients who have lost or reduced income. So yes she may end up with 180% of the pay from you but will most like have lost out on others.

Ali85 Mon 06-Apr-20 16:33:05

The self employed pay won’t be available till June so If you can afford to pay her I would. But what impact does that have on her claim from the Govt? Does it (a) have no impact and she can still claim it back so gettin 180% of her pay in total by June; OR (b) mean that she doesn't lose so much so she just gets less from the Govt i.e. we save the govt money; OR (c) stop her from claiming anything because she is still getting some income (which would be a disaster for her if some clients pay and some don't).

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Ali85 Mon 06-Apr-20 16:34:05

Sorry, cross post Peapod. So the it is (a) - if everyone pays she gets an 80% pay rise?

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Peapod29 Mon 06-Apr-20 16:34:50

It will have no impact on her claim. As usual good old Martin explains it very clearly here

www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2020/03/coronavirus-self-employed-and-employment-help/

Peapod29 Mon 06-Apr-20 16:37:19

Yes Ali I think that’s the case. There will be some people I guess who do very well from it, depending of course on what they’ve actually declared as income. However I would think it incredibly unlikely that SE people won’t take some kind of hit To income through this.

Peapod29 Mon 06-Apr-20 16:39:16

They are leaving it up to people to do the right thing by the looks of it. Quote from MSE

The Government says individuals must "do the right thing" and only make a claim through the scheme if you've genuinely been adversely affected by coronavirus and need financial support.

Ali85 Mon 06-Apr-20 16:43:27

Thanks Peepod, I had looked at that but it doesn't address the 'should I pay' Q as it is very much from the perspective of the person claiming. Like lots of people we are currently very uncertain as to what our employers will decide to do so are not spending unnecessary money. This could go on for months and it will be a large expense so we need to think about it carefully but are also keen to do the 'right thing' for her and not leave her struggling.

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Peapod29 Mon 06-Apr-20 16:50:26

I think if there’s any risk that your income may be reduced it would be wise to not pay, although many SE people will be up shit creek until the payment in June, if you can’t afford to keep paying out you can’t afford it. They can claim a mortgage or rent holiday I think, or UC if they are entitled. I have one cleaning client (rest of my SE work is through events which are cancelled) who is continuing to pay me as he is a wealthy pensioner (think he’s on a final salary pension). He said that everyone else he’s spoken to in his village is doing the same for their cleaners but then it’s a very wealthy village of retirees who I assume will have income unaffected.

HadALockdownMeltdown Mon 06-Apr-20 16:52:12

I’m a cleaner.
I have been self employed since last April so I do not qualify for the SE government grant.
Also to PP I get paid 100% by bank transfer no cash.
I have obviously had no work for 2 weeks and I’ve had to take on some gardening work to put food on the table because of having to do this I’m entitled to £23.44 UC

If your circumstances haven’t changed please consider paying something to her. If she is a good cleaner please consider trying to keep her

mymadworld Mon 06-Apr-20 17:03:03

Well I'm self-employed - childminder not cleaner - and stopped working two weeks ago and have literally no income and won't do until I get the government grant which is not likely to be until end of May early June.

Furthermore the grant will be based on 80% my net profits ie after all my expenses have been deducted^^ but, most of us will still have some expenses to pay even though we're not working plus of course it is taxable. And 80% of a low income is bloody low and may be the difference between paying the bills and going in arrears.

It is brilliant that the government is helping us like this and I am massively grateful and it will probably be the difference between me paying essential bills or not but I do think if you can afford to pay something at least for another month or so until the grants arrive you really should consider it.

user1487194234 Mon 06-Apr-20 17:13:31

We are paying our cleaner.I think it is the right thing to do.

ChateauMargaux Mon 06-Apr-20 17:39:30

It really depends on whether she earns enough to have been declaring her income. If you know in your heart of hearts that she is barely making ends meet, working cash in hand and not declaring and you are knowingly benefiting from cheap labour as a result, then you should carry on paying.

Why don't you ask her if she has worked out if she will be able to claim from the government and if she wants help with this and also of she would like you to pay her until June and then maybe hold those payments to top her income up from 80% to 100% for as long as lockdown lasts.

There will be people who are not registered and not paying tax but because they are living hand to mouth and cannot afford or don't know how to be registered. These people will suffer most while having been exploited for low wages up until now.

Remember, it's not the occasional cleaner who works for low wages and doesn't declare all of her income that has a big impact on HMRC income but wealthy land, property and business owners who hold their assets offshore and legally pay no taxes that account for a huge amount of the country's wealth without contributing to the exchequer.

Find out what her situation is and if you can afford to pay her, do.

Ali85 Mon 06-Apr-20 17:43:36

I can't imagine how I could possibly ask her whether she has been declaring her income. I'd feel incredibly rude. She's been on hols to Thailand and Mexico in the last year so I've not got the impression that I've been benefitting from her barely scraping a living!

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KoalasandRabbit Mon 06-Apr-20 17:51:03

If she's done a tax return in 18-19 and 2 years before it and over 50% of her income was from self-employment she's eligible for the 80%, it can be just the 18-19 tax year as long as you have been self-employed since. If she started self-employment after that she gets nothing / eligible, if she is also employed or was in 18-19 she may well get nothing / UC if eligible. Obviously if she's never declared her earnings she wouldn't get anything.

The idea is you carry on working if you can and your net profits are made up to 80% if eligible - this will be paid in June. You cannot get UC and this.

Maybe ask her if she is eligible.

Darbs76 Mon 06-Apr-20 18:00:53

I’m paying my dog walker still £250 a month but she’s not walking. If she later claims it back I trust her to reimburse. Some self employed don’t declare income, so they’d get zero help

JustVisiting9 Mon 06-Apr-20 19:36:50

I'm still paying my cleaner. I asked her to stop coming before the official lock down, and said I would continue to pay her then. My own income isn't affected and I'd already budgeted the monthly cost.

Also, when I asked her to stop coming, there was a slight mis-understanding - she thought I was isolating and asked if I wanted her to use the cleaning time to do my shopping instead. I didn't need her to, but I thought it was a very kind suggestion.

A good cleaner is hard to find and I don't want to lose her! She's said that when she can come again, she'll do a deep clean for no extra charge.

In the mean time, I am doing the cleaning myself. It's not like I don't have enough time at the moment!

Ali85 Mon 06-Apr-20 19:42:53

Have you asked her whether she is claiming the Govt money Justvisiting?

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