Employing someone to work in your home

When you employ someone to work in your home, it is your responsibility to meet the employee's rights and deduct the correct amount of tax from their salary. This can include employees such as a nanny, housekeeper, gardener or carer. The rules are different if the person is self-employed or paid through an agency.

If you employ anyone they must:

  • have an employment contract
  • be given payslips
  • work no more than the maximum hours allowed per week
  • be paid at least the National Minimum Wage.

Your employee is also entitled to standard employee rights such as statutory maternity pay, statutory sick pay, paid holiday, redundancy pay and a workplace pension – once they meet the standard eligibility requirements. An employee must also have minimum notice periods if their employment is to end. Note, that these rules apply even if the employee works on a part-time basis, although some payments depend on the level of earnings or may be adjusted pro-rata.

It is also your responsibility to register as an employer, check any employees are allowed to work in the UK and to have employer’s liability insurance. There are different rules if you have an au pair as they are not usually considered to be workers or employees.

What is a negligible value claim?

A negligible value claim is a claim made by a taxpayer when an asset they own has become of negligible value, i.e. it is worthless or worth next to nothing. The taxpayer effectively treats the asset as having been disposed of and then immediately reacquired at the negligible value. The asset must still be owned by the person making the claim and must have become of negligible value whilst it was owned.

Making a claim allows the owner of the asset to realise a capital loss in respect of an asset without actually having to dispose of it.

By making a negligible value claim, rather than selling an asset, the taxpayer retains ownership and may benefit should the asset ever recover in value; even if this is only a remote possibility.

HMRC publishes a list of shares or securities, formerly quoted on the London Stock Exchange, that have been officially declared of negligible value for the purposes of making a claim. In other cases, an application should be made to HMRC to agree a valuation.

A negligible value claim can be back-dated to an earlier time falling in the previous two tax years provided all the other qualifying conditions are met.

Finance Bill 2019-20 shelved

The Government’s draft finance bill has been shelved as we countdown to the general election on 12 December 2019. The consultation on the draft legislation has closed, but the prorogation controversy and Brexit issues meant there was no time for the Government to respond to any of the issues raised.

The Bill contained the legislation for some of the tax measures that were announced by the Government at Autumn Budget 2018. Many of these measures have been the subject of further consultation. The measures expected to come into force from April 2020 included: the extension of off-payroll working rules to the private sector, the introduction of the Digital Services Tax and the new Corporate Capital Loss Restriction. If the Conservatives are re-elected, we are likely to see these measures revived whilst a new Government could make significant changes.

The Chancellor, Sajid Javid, cancelled the Budget that was meant to be presented to Parliament on 6 November 2019. Once again, the cancellation was in response to the calling of a general election. This leaves us with a significant gap since the last Budget was held on 29 October 2018. The next Budget will likely take place during January / February 2020. There are also issues for Scotland's Budget which is currently scheduled for 12 December 2019, and which is expected to be deferred.