When starting an electrical repair business you have to remember it is no longer possible to pay a person as a casual worker. There are rules to follow and paperwork to complete when taking on any form of employee.
Employing Casual Staff
When you decide to employ staff you cannot advertise for casual staff. All workers have to be told the length of service, whether they are permanent, full time, temporary or part time. They have to know their work duties and also their pay scale and work hours.
Tax and National Insurance
All staff have to pay tax and national insurance. Even if a person is employed for a short term you have to notify the Inland Revenue that they work with you. If the casual staff does not have proof of their identity you must ask your local job centre for advice. If the casual worker gives you cause to think he or she is an immigrant they must have documents to show that they can work in this country.
Employing Self Employed Workers
In some trades workers tend to be self employed. This means that they do not have tax and national insurance deducted from their pay but calculate their own tax and pay it direct to the government each year when they complete their self assessment paperwork and submit it to the Inland Revenue. Ask to see proof of staff that are self employed and also request an invoice for their time before handing over payment. You need to have an invoice for your accounts system and to cover yourself in case the Inland Revenue inspect your accounts.
Unemployed and Casual Work
It is illegal for you to pay someone as a casual worker if they claim unemployment benefit or jobseekers allowance. The casual worker can be prosecuted and fined – even jailed if they are perpetual breakers of the law. When someone moves to your company from being employed elsewhere they must bring with them a p45. This shows what tax they have paid that year and these are the figures that you add to your payroll system when you calculate their pay.
If you are unsure about how to calculate payroll for your staff there are several ways to approach it. You can get advice from the Inland Revenue who will give you booklets and advice on how to proceed. There is even a CD ROM in the information pack to run a basic payroll system. You must be registered in order to be able to pay people through and make deductions for tax and national insurance. Any tax or national insurance that is taken from your staff wages must be passed to the Inland Revenue along with the employers part of the national insurance. If this process baffles you perhaps you could employ a bookkeeper or payroll clerk to carry out these duties and other accounts work or you could pay your accountant to undertake the task although he would cost more than employing staff.
Your Local Job Centre
If you are unsure about employing staff, whether permanent or casual, telephone your local job centre and ask for advice. They also have a helpful website that may answer your questions.