Q: My employers say that because I'm domestic staff I don't need to pay tax and National Insurance. Is this true?
A: If you are an employee and earn more than the weekly Lower Earnings Limit (or LEL - please refer to the Rates page for the current LEL threshold) it is your employer's legal responsibility, not yours, to set up and operate a PAYE (Pay As You Earn) scheme on your behalf and to declare your wages to HMRC - if they fail to do so they are breaking the law.
Q: How do I know if my employer is paying my tax and National Insurance Contributions?
A: If you receive regular payslips this is usually a good indication that your employer is declaring your wages with HMRC. However, if you want to be absolutely certain then ask your employer for your PAYE reference number. If you want to apply for a loan or a mortgage your bank or building society often require this - so you don't have to feel uncomfortable asking your employer for it.
Q: Do I qualify for sick pay?
A: You are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you are sick for more than three consecutive days. SSP is paid from the fouth day of sickness. Please refer to the Rates and Thresholds page for the current SSP rate. This can be paid instead or as part of your normal rate of pay, at your employer's discretion. Your employer may be able to reclaim some of the costs from the state. More information on Statutory Sick Pay.
Q: Do I qualify for holiday pay?
A: Yes. All employees in the UK are entitled to paid holiday whether they work full-time, part-time or on a temporary basis. Full-time employees working 5 days a week are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks or 28 days paid leave per year. If you work on a part-time basis and you want to know how many days you are entitled to, simply multiply the number of days you work each week with 5.6. The total should be rounded up to the nearest 1/2 day. If you work variable hours, holiday can be calculated in hours rather than days - Enable Payroll can help with these calculations. You should receive your normal rate of pay during holiday leave. For more information and examples of calculations for part-time and temporary workers, please refer to the Holiday Entitlement page.
Q: Should my employer pay me for bank holidays?
A: This will depend on your contract and what you have agreed with your employer; you do not have a statutory right to paid leave on bank holidays. If you are required to work on a bank holiday you must be paid at least your normal rate of pay - there is no automatic right to an enhanced pay rate. If your employer agrees to paid holiday on bank and public holidays it can be deducted from your annual holiday entitlement. So, for example, if you work full-time and you have eight days off in a year for bank holidays, you will be entitled to these eight days plus another 20 days of holiday.
Q: Should I complete a tax return?
A: No, providing all your income comes from employment. However, if you are a live-in employee and you own a flat or house, which you rent out to someone else, you do need to complete a tax return.
Q: I'm about to become a dad; do I qualify for paternity pay?
A: To be eligible to receive Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) you must have been employed continuously for a minimum of 26 weeks before the 'Notification Week'. The noification week is 15 weeks before the baby's due date. You are entitled to two weeks ordinary SPP which is paid at 90% of your gross weekly earnings or at the Statutory Paternity Pay rate (please refer to the Rates and Thresholds page for the current rate), whichever is the lower amount. On top of this you may be entitled to receive Additional Paternity Pay, if the mother (or primary carer) has returned to work during her maternity or adoption pay period and ceased to claim any relevant statutory pay. More information is available on the Statutory Paternity Pay page.
Q: I'm pregnant; do I qualify for maternity pay?
A: To qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) you have to have been employed for a minimum of 26 weeks (six months) before the 'Notification Week' - that's 15 weeks before your baby's due date. SMP is payable for a maximum period of 39 weeks. The first six weeks of SMP are at 90% of your average gross weekly earnings and the remaining weeks of the maternity pay period (up to a maximum of 33 weeks) are paid at the current SMP rate or 90% of your average gross weekly earnings, whichever is the lower amount. Refer to the Statutory Maternity Pay page for more details.
Q: I'm going on maternity leave; can I bring my baby with me when I return to work?
A: This is at your employer's discretion. You have a right to return to work following maternity leave, but only on the same terms as you were previously employed.
Q: My employer no longer has a job for me. Do I qualify for redundancy pay?
A: If you have been in continuous employment for two years or more and you are over 18 you are entitled to redundancy pay - providing you are not on a fixed-term contract. You would also qualify for redundancy pay if your employer moves to a different part of the country, providing there is no relocation clause in your contract of employment. Please refer to the Redundancy page for more information.