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Cleaner asking for Reference to get NI number

(9 Posts)
whiziwig Sat 06-Aug-11 20:31:06

I wonder if anyone can advise me on this, I don't want to do anything illegal!

I have a cleaner through an agency, she has asked me to write a reference letter for her so that she can get a National Insurance number. Is this a valid request or should she have one already and is therefore not working legally?

I looked online and as far as I can see, if she is self-employed, she should have a NI number before starting work and to get one, she does not need a reference from me, just proof of her identitiy.

Am I correct? She's a good cleaner and nice person and I'd like to help her.
Thanks

usualsuspect Sat 06-Aug-11 20:33:45

She should have one already

mollymole Sat 06-Aug-11 20:40:55

you have booked the cleaner through an agency - who is she employed by, you or the agency, i.e who will be paying her, you direct or will you pay the agency and them pay her, if she is employed by the agency then they should deal with her NI status - if she has not got an NI number she should not be working in the UK

gallicgirl Sat 06-Aug-11 20:51:14

Yup, she should already have a NINO and the agency should have checked this before she started work.

If you do want to help her, ask her for the contact details of the department requesting the reference from you and give them a call to check what the situation is.

whiziwig Sat 06-Aug-11 21:24:43

Thanks for your advice. The contract I have with the agency says that she is self-employed. Does this mean it is up to me to check that she has a NI number before starting work or up to the agency?
I leave money for her and pay a fee per hour to the agency separately.

gallicgirl Sat 06-Aug-11 21:43:07

mm not sure.

Mind you, if you paid a builder to come into your home and do work on a self-employed basis, you wouldn't check if he had a NINO.

If she's definitely self-employed then I reckon you're ok and it's up to her to sort out her own tax and NI. I imagine it's only your problem if you're employing her directly. She must clean for other people too and the money earned is like a shop's takings. Best to make a call just to make certain but it sounds like maybe she's been lax getting her details sorted.

WyrdMother Sat 06-Aug-11 22:00:15

She can work in the UK if she has the right which is covered here. www.hmrc.gov.uk/ni/intro/number.htm At my old firm we had lots of headaches with people who had the right to work but hadn't got a NI number yet, it often took time for the number to come through. I think the letter of the law might be that they should have it already but in practice it seemed to be different. This is based on what I remember from six years ago so you may want to check it.

I would think that her right to work status wouldn't be your problem as she's self employed but I'd take heart from the fact she's getting an NI number. Ring the Tax office if you're worried, I always find them very helpful.

whiziwig Sat 06-Aug-11 23:28:21

Thanks for your help everyone, I'll give the tax office a call then I can advise her better.

RunsWithScissors Sat 06-Aug-11 23:46:44

It's fine. When I first began working (self employed) in the uk I had to get reference letters from clients to get my NI number. Was the only way to do it, as had to prove I was self employed. I had the right to work (and if employed by a company they would have had to apply on my behalf).

Just need to write a letter stating that she does work for you in the role of cleaner. Completely above board and legal.

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