Employing someone to work in a private household

In the world of private household recruitment, it’s not just about finding the perfect fit; it’s also about ensuring compliance with legal obligations and getting the best out of them. There is a lot to think about to make sure that everything runs smoothly.

Did you know that employers are required to provide written statements outlining key employment terms on or before the first day of work? This ensures transparency and fairness from the get-go.

One of the biggest challenges that are found when it comes to employer/employee relationships is a mis-understanding or differing interpretation of their employment terms.  This never seems like an issue, and is usually never an issue, until it becomes one!

So, consider moving beyond the legal requirements and enriching employment contracts with additional details. By doing so, you create a comprehensive document that serves as clear guidance for both employers and household staff, ensuring a mutual understanding of expectations.

Consider the benefits of creating a separate staff handbook or non-contractual policies. This can house additional guidelines, such as household protocols, emergency procedures, and communication expectations, offering a more detailed guide beyond the employment contract.

It’s also really important to incorporate clauses regarding privacy and confidentiality in the employment contract. This protects both employers and employees, setting boundaries and expectations for a respectful working environment.

What else do you need to know:

  • Ensure that employees are paid at least the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage, depending on their age and other factors
  • Comply with the Working Time Regulations, which include limits on working hours, rest breaks, and annual leave
  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP): Eligible employees are entitled to receive SSP if they are unable to work due to illness
  • Pension auto-enrolment: Enrol eligible employees into a workplace pension scheme and make the necessary contributions
  • Tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs): Deduct income tax and NICs from employees’ wages and submit them to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • Employer’s Liability Insurance: Have employer’s liability insurance to cover the cost of compensation claims if an employee is injured or becomes ill because of their work
  • Health and safety: Provide a safe and healthy working environment for employees and conduct risk assessments and take necessary measures to address potential hazards
  • Discrimination and equality: Ensure compliance with anti-discrimination laws and promote equality in the workplace
  • Performance Management: Make sure you have clear job descriptions and you have spent time with your employee making sure they understand what is expected of them and the channels of communication you expect.  If issues arise, provide constructive feedback and support but make sure you don’t let the issues build without addressing them
  • Termination and notice periods: Follow proper procedures if terminating an employee, including providing the required notice period
  • Holiday entitlement:  Provide paid annual leave as per the statutory holiday entitlement
  • Maternity/paternity rights: Recognise and comply with maternity and paternity leave rights
  • Right to work checks: Verify that employees have the legal right to work in the UK
  • DBS checks: For roles involving contact with children or vulnerable adults, employees may be required to undergo Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks

Navigating the intricate process of employing private household staff can be a daunting task, requiring meticulous attention to legal obligations and individual preferences.

Our experienced HR Consultant, Lyn, is dedicated to streamlining the entire process, from crafting comprehensive employment contracts to ensuring compliance with the latest regulations.

Let us handle the complexities, allowing you to focus on what matters most – a harmonious and efficient household. Find out more here.

Employing someone to work in a private household