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Discuss Taking on the occasional labourer in the Insurance for Plumbers area at

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  1. Rodolphe

    Rodolphe Guest

    Sometimes it needs 2 people to do a job. I was wondering what the legal responsibility is when taking on a labourer.

    What happens if he injures himself? What happens if he damages something at the property? Does anyone know where the liabilities are in those cases?
  2. tamz

    tamz Guest

    You will need to get employers liability insurance. It is usually done as a combined policy with your public liability. This is a compulsory insurance if you employ anyone.
  3. Simon F

    Simon F Trusted Plumber GSR

  4. Ray Stafford

    Ray Stafford Guest

    Hi Rodolphe

    In addition to the points made above, there are also rules from the tax man. See this link

    It seems to be fairly relaxed if you employ someone for less than a week, and they don't have a P45 from previous employment, but there are still some record keeping requirements.
  5. Rodolphe

    Rodolphe Guest

    Hang on Ray, I think this is different. I wouldn't hire a labourer as an employee, I would recruit a self-employed worker to work for x amount of time. I'm not going to go actually hiring staff, I can barely feed myself !!
  6. Ray Stafford

    Ray Stafford Guest

    The taxman won't necessarily look at this way, although for a very short period (a day or so) you should probably be ok.

    The definition of "self employed" has been tightened up in recent years - although others on this forum will know more about this than I will and can probably give better advice. The HMRC guidance is here
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2012
  7. Rodolphe

    Rodolphe Guest

    I really do try to work honestly, declare my income and all, but really they do try very hard to discourage you don't they.

    I guess I'll have to call HMRC and ask them. It's always such a pleasure to talk with them :s

    Thanks Tamz, Simon, Ray for your answers.
  8. erpkid

    erpkid Plumber GSR

    You will need still need to deduct ( withhold ) tax at I think 30% or 20% if your self employed worker has a CIS card. You pay this to the revenue and the labourer has to claim it back due to his earnings being below a tax threshold. We do it occasionally but it is getting harder and as we get older I tend not to quote for jobs with a high manual content.

    REDSAW Guest

    you could also hire n fire within 5 hours!!!
    as far as the tax goes its a non starter..
  10. greyhound

    greyhound Guest

    i went to a employment agency looking for someone now and then, i hate paperwork so it saves all the paye, holiday etc. As virtually all my work is maintenance after discussions with tax lady i don't need to deduct under cis.
    The assistant they found me had been a tool setter, he has now worked for me around 20 hrs a week for 10 years. I don't want to grow the work load and he hates electricity so he doesn't want to be a service engineer. it works really well.
    I am insured for a second person as well as temporary employee that i think is 100 days per year.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2012
  11. del boy

    del boy Guest

    best bet here if you want to keep your paper work down is get an agency on board. as the labourer will be insured through the agency and fully covered. before reading on try look at it like this. when you hire a car through say AVIS then the car your in is insured through the company you hired the car from and not your own insurance well when you hire someone from an agency its the same (they are insured through the agency and not your insurance) both examples are kind of the same here as they are still your responsibility but your not liability. if you get my drift?
    you can get a guy at a days notice (usually) and they pay his wages as the labourer is employed by them not you.
    you will have to sign a few forms stating the equipment you supply for his use will be safe (drills pat tested etc)
    and its a win win as if you get quiet you just let the agency know and they try to find him other work (you only legally need to give a days notice to him) but if you stay busy then you keep him as long as you want (if he wants to stay with you that is)
    the agency pay him direct not you and you will be invoiced from them with around a 10%-15% mark up to cover there costs but you can put this through your tax and get relief on it. so it evens itself back up.
    If its someone you know that you want to work with you tell him the name of the agency your using and get him to register with them then request him from the agency and that's it. all above board with insurance and you don't need to give out any contracts,holidays etc.. (also the employee gains holiday pay thru the agency by some sort of tax calculation)
    If you want to add employees onto your own liability it will usually cost you around £120 a year extra but that comes with more paper work and as you probably know ita all a bit of a headache.
    bear in mind the agency will pay the labourer not you and then they invoice you with a mark up.
    other good thing here is the agency guy has a lot of tax rights and can claim various expenses giving him about an extra £15 a day on top of wages that wont cost you so everyone's a winner
    good luck with things. PS if its casual work this obviously wont work. this is for full on through the books stuff.
    also sometimes Scotland and England have different laws on certain things so its worth letting you know this is the way it works in Scotland and I am not 100% sure if English law differs
  12. plumb

    plumb Guest

    But if the original post is in relation to the labourer's insurance if he causes damage? I would check with your insurer that you can have labourers in that way on your policy because if you cant and he causes a mess of something you would ultimately be held liable. Don't think it would cost you much to have one extra person on the policy on this basis. The risk to not do so could be great as if no insurance in place at all then this would get expensive and you would have to pay from your OWN pocket. Don't try to make little savings with insurance if you're taking a risk like that.
  13. plumb

    plumb Guest

    Rather than pay the agency, I would just check you are insured for the extra person and take them on a self employed basis. Cheaper.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. brum

    brum Plumber

    I approached an agency years ago for an occasional labourer they weren't very helpful to say the least better off hanging around job centre for a likely candidate waving a few £20 notes works every time..brum discreetly of course
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014
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