Direct Payments Scheme Users Falling Foul Of Employment Law

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
can anybody tell me if its legal to employ carers (or pesonal assistants) giving them regular hours, but on a self employed basis.
This would make life so much easier for us. Would be grateful for any advice.
can anybody tell me if its legal to employ carers (or pesonal assistants) giving them regular hours, but on a self employed basis.
This would make life so much easier for us. Would be grateful for any advice.
Yes, self employment might suit some people, its quite simple: they just invoice you each month for the hours actually worked. They then have to pay their own tax and NI at the end of the year.

After some consideration, and with advice from the Scottish Personal Assistant Employers Network I have decided to employ casual workers on an assignment basis, with variable hours asccording to need. They are free to accept or refuse each assignment, and there are no regular hours, whuich suits our needs as well as the young employees need to keep flexible around exam times and so on. This might also suit the flexible employment needs of fellow carers. Casual workers do not have the same employment rights as salaried staff, so hiring and firing is much more simple.

This could be done on a self-employed basis, however, I can calculate and pay any tax and NI using a simple software payroll system, Moneysoft Payroll Manager, that does the calculations, keeps updated with any changes in regulation, and produces nice payslips and end of year tax returns. All for around £5 a month, a good investment.
i have been doing a bit of research today Image and it seems that because we want the carers to work regular hours rather than on a 'as and when needed' basis, it is not legal for them to be self employed.
HMRC - the "tax man" - will not consider anyone as self-employed who works for only one person, and who does not have arrangements in place to provide cover.

Anyone paying them as a self-employed person will be found liable for the employers' NI contributions, etc., and could be prosecuted over this.
We've never had a problem with this.
I've come across a couple of situations where it has been a problem. Apparently the regulations go back to 1995.
I dont think it is that unusual for a contractor to work for one (main) client on a flexible annually renewable contractual basis - and as long as they are registered with the DWP as a self employed sole trader then who cares or even knows how many clients they work for? Sorry Charles, but I do think you are making a bit of a legalistic pigs ear of this - especially as the government is encouraging more of the public sector to contract out, surely what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander? And the kind of people we employ are hardly likely to have a legal department behind them or to have the resources required to sue us to kingdom come, given that the compensation is likely to be minimal in the very remote event that they decide to take us to the cleaners if we let them go with a month's wages in hand: caring situations are by their very nature flexible and unpredictable, everyone knows it wont last for ever. I do agree its important to be explicit from the start, and a casual contract has many advantages from both sides: I work for a major household name employer and we are happy to work this way.

Of course the other solution is to pay strictly cash in hand, have no paperwork at all, and ignore all the regulations. Millions of honest, ordinary people who do this can't be wrong, and realistically, how many of them ever live to regret it? These complicated rules were not meant for ordinary folk like us, and they dont help us either. I mean, you'll be telling us that the Egyptian protesters were wrong to oppose Mubarak next, because they didnt get a license to demonstrate!
I think that Charles might be referring to a tax avoidance measure IR35? Whether a sole trader is caught by this legislation would depend on how their business is constituted, an explanation of how the legislation works, including client liability, is here:
Technically speaking, one shouldn't speed in a car, in practice most of us do. As long as you keep your head down and use common sense, you can get away with a great deal in this life. I think Richard Branson made his first million or so exporting LPs to Europe and then re-importing them, in order to avoid VAT: it seems to have done him little long term harm.
It depends on whether you believe in trying to stay on the right side of the law even if you do not believe that a particular law can be justified or is proportionate. There are people who have a tendency to believe that they will never be caught, some will not but others will and when it comes to tax avoidance HMRC fraud has targets to meet and will obviously try to meet those targets.