Employing an assistant?

  HighTower 14:08 20 Oct 2007
Locked

I'm looking at taking on somebody for literally a few hours a week to mainly add content to customer's content managed sites. I know it sounds odd, but a lot of my customers are finding that they don't have time to keep their content managed sites up to date, and so ask me to do it.

I'm busy at the moment and would rather spend my time on the other design projects I'm working on, so I had envisaged that the person I would ask to do the work for me would basically charge me an hourly rate and send me an invoice. I would then charge my customer an hourly rate accordingly.

Is this way easier than going down the full 'employee' route? Especially considering the number of hours we are talking about? I'm aware that we're not employment advisors in this forum but I know there are a few members who run a business and may be able to offer some advice.

  wee eddie 14:55 20 Oct 2007

The IRS have special rules regarding Freelancers working in th IT Industry. You will need to take Professional Advice there.

You will need to take some form of Insurance against Employee Errors and, depending on where they are going to do the Work, provide facilities up to Regulation Standards.

Of course many ignore all this and get away with these little things, they'll make more money so long as nothing goes amiss.

  HighTower 15:01 20 Oct 2007

Yup, I've just spoken to the Inland Revenue New Employer Helpline and naturally it's not as straight forward as I first thought.

First thing is to define whether this person is actually self employed or employed. The local tax office can help me find out which this is so I'll call them on Monday. I can't decide this, it's based on a set criteria.

If it's decided that they are actually an employee then I'll need to go down the payroll route.

Thanks for you input, I'll let you know what they say.

  crosstrainer 16:55 20 Oct 2007

I run a small oem, I would advise a part time employee on a fixed rate rather than the self-employed route...it's littered with pitfalls.

  spuds 17:58 20 Oct 2007

If you have a Chamber of Commerce or Business Advice centre in your area, then I would suggest you contact them. They can be of great assistance, especially when red tape is involved, and there will be if you commence employing other people on a permanent basis.

  Snec 20:50 21 Oct 2007

>>> so I had envisaged that the person I would ask to do the work for me would basically charge me an hourly rate and send me an invoice. I would then charge my customer an hourly rate accordingly. <<<<

Yes, that's the way to do it and you most certainly do not need to contact Chamber of Commerce, Business Advice Cetre or the Inland Revenue........ :o)

Just keep records of payments made. The person invoicing you is responsible for his/her own tax affairs. You cannot even be held responsible for them being who they say they are.

That's it, nothing more to it. I've paid scores of people this way for over 30 years.

  wee eddie 21:53 21 Oct 2007

Unfortunately, in IT it is not that simple because of the Industry doing that in the past.

If a Contractor, who is invoicing you, is wholely or mostly reliant on you for his Income. Then the IRS regards him as an Employee.

If you are in IT, better check. There could be a shock coming your way, next time you get an Audit from them.

  Snec 01:14 22 Oct 2007

Agreed, wee eddie... 'is wholely or mostly reliant on you for his Income' is the operative phrase here.

It's not just IT either. The hospitality industry is just one other area where the same thing applies. Oh, btw, I've had many audits and since I'm a totally honest and upright citizen who just loves to pay my taxes for this government to spend wisely, my books and records are spot on.

  Snec 01:16 22 Oct 2007

PS, it *is* that simple.

If you are saying it can be made more complicated then I agree with that too.

  wee eddie 08:53 22 Oct 2007

I was a little worried that you, or other readers, might have got the impression that, by just making an individual a Contractor. One could avoid NIC et alia.

I should also point out that if someone is working for you at a designated site. You are liable to make sure that that site is safe and has all the regulated facilities. I am told that there is a certain amount of leeway if there is 1 individual in a home environment, but where 2, or more, are gathered together, as the Good Book says, then the full regulations can be enforced.

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