Assistants: How to become an employer

what to do if you want to employ your childminding assistant

Lisa Holmes avatar
Written by Lisa Holmes
Updated over a week ago

You have decided to take on an assistant and you have decided that you are going to employ them, but what does this actually mean?

In reality there are a number of steps you need to take in order to become an employer.

1.Can you afford an employee?

Have you set out the hours and wages you will expect to pay and made sure you know how many children you need on your books in order to make an assistant a viable option?

Have you factored in things like holiday pay and national insurance contributions?

Remember the pay you offer must be at least the National Minimum wage if they are under 23 and National Living wage if they are over 23. Please take a look at this webpage for further information, exemptions do apply if you are employing family members

2. Do they have a legal right to work in the UK?

This is your responsibility as an employer to check. You should always make sure you have seen the necessary documentation.

3. Employers Liability Insurance

Employers Liability Insurance is automatically included in the package you receive from Morton Michel once you become a tiney registered childminder. You will need to display your Employer's Liability Certificate on the wall once you have an employee. This is a legal requirement.

4. Make sure you have a signed contract in place

It is really important to have an agreement in writing that sets out the terms and conditions of the job offer - even a very basic contract is better than none.

5. Check if you need to enrol your employee into a pension scheme

Please take a look at the HMRC page below

You must enrol and make an employer’s contribution for all staff who:

  • are aged between 22 and the State Pension age

  • earn at least £10,000 a year

  • normally work in the UK (this includes people who are based in the UK but travel abroad for work)

If staff become eligible because of a change in their age or earnings, you must put them into your pension scheme and write to them within 6 weeks of the day they meet the criteria.

6. Get your employees background checks underway with tiney as soon as possible

Go to this article for more information on the checks and training your assistant needs to undertake.

7. Register with HMRC as an employer

You can do this up to 4 weeks before you start paying your employee.

You must register before the first payday. It can take up to 5 working days to get your employer PAYE reference number. You cannot register more than 2 months before you start paying people.

8. Decide how you will run your PAYE

Make sure you read this article from HMRC for further information and to help decide on whether you will use a payroll tool and how you will keep your payroll records.

You do not need to register for PAYE if none of your employees are paid £120 or more a week, get expenses and benefits, have another job or get a pension. However, you must keep payroll records.

If you’re a small employer that expects to pay less than £1,500 a month, you can arrange to pay quarterly instead of monthly - contact HMRC’s payment enquiry helpline for more information.

Want to find out more? You can watch this webinar recording of a session led by Sam Beech, a tiney home leader, on working with an assistant and how she does it!
Passcode: 3!*cU3&7

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