Gransnet forums



(120 Posts)
grannyrebel7 Wed 14-Oct-20 10:11:01

My sister has taken on a cleaner who is very efficient and only charges £7 an hour. I was thinking of employing her too as I hate housework. However, my sister has since found out that this woman is a single mother on benefits and is not paying tax on the money she earns from her cleaning jobs. This has put me off as I like everything to be above board, but my sister says she doesn't care about it. I've decided not to bother anyway and will wait until I get my state pension next summer and employ a cleaner then. Just wondered what does everyone else think? I can sort of see both sides, but I wouldn't want to be aiding and abetting someone defrauding the system.

Luckygirl Wed 14-Oct-20 10:13:28

Before lockdown I had a cleaner - I used to pay her in cash. I did not ask what happened after that - none of my business.

Calendargirl Wed 14-Oct-20 10:16:30

I thought that you can now earn up to £1000 annually for offering casual services, i.e. babysitting, gardening, without having to declare it. Not sure if cleaning is included, or if it affects benefits.

Illte Wed 14-Oct-20 10:18:08

I wouldn't be too quick to judge.

If she is receiving universal credit she can earn £292 each month before her benefits are affected if she has help with housing and £512 if she oats her own rent.

At £7.00 an hour that's a lot of cleaning!

The single person tax allowance is £12, 500. I doubt she earns enough to pay tax.

Illte Wed 14-Oct-20 10:21:51

pays her own rent.

Honestly, spell checkers🙄

annodomini Wed 14-Oct-20 10:35:02

I decided to go through and agency to find a cleaner because I knew that if she had an accident in my house, she would be insured through the agency, whereas I could be responsible if I were her employer.

Maggiemaybe Wed 14-Oct-20 10:58:30

I’m sorry, but I’d be more worried about paying someone so little for an hour’s work. Surely it’s below the minimum wage, unless she’s very young?

Davidhs Wed 14-Oct-20 11:02:32

£7 an hour is cheap, mine charged £10, at that rate she could work 30 hours a month and I was happy that it was within the rules. Sadly with Covid she got a full time job in a care home.

Doodledog Wed 14-Oct-20 11:03:36

At the risk of sounding po-faced, the trouble with this sort of thing is that as long as people are working for £7 an hour (well below the minimum wage) they are forcing down the pay of everyone else doing low-skilled work. Not only that, but the cleaner will not be eligible for any benefits (including sick pay, maternity pay and pension) as she won't be paying NI. This might not seem to matter now, but what is she supposed to do if she takes ill, or gets pregnant? How many people on here wish that they had more pension contributions? It is really unfair to force people into a situation where they are storing up trouble down the line, but as long as there are cleaners (and others) working for low pay it will be more difficult for others to charge enough to pay their contributions.

When people collude in defrauding the system that the rest of us pay into, they are also short-changing people like the cleaner, who is operating outside of the economy, whether she likes it or not. Turning a blind eye to non-payment of contributions is not doing her a favour at all, however much people pretend it is 'none of their business'.

It is actually the employer's responsibility to pay the tax and NI, although few people employing cleaners on a cash basis do this.

MerylStreep Wed 14-Oct-20 11:30:21

It's not for you to judge. I'm assuming that you've never been on benefits ?
She might not be a single mother by choice. There are many young widows.

Missfoodlove Wed 14-Oct-20 11:37:51

No work for me means no cleaner.
I was paying £14 an hour through an agency

annsixty Wed 14-Oct-20 11:52:24

Before lockdown I was paying two women £50 for two hours , i.e. £12:50 an hour.
One had to pack it in and now the remaining one has finished.
I really could do with one but will have to wait.
The main cleaner was self employed, she also did work for agencies.
They did not expect holiday pay but I always paid them extra and a good Christmas tip.
We should be fair to them not exploit them.

Nannapat1 Wed 14-Oct-20 12:01:06

I had a cleaner before lockdown and paid her £10 ph cash. Never enquired about her financial status. If you 'formally' employ someone btw it is rather complicated and IMO best avoided where possible!

Charleygirl5 Wed 14-Oct-20 12:11:20

Before lockdown my cleaner charged £10 an hour but this present cleaner asks for £13 an hour and that is the going rate. It is nothing to do with me what she does with her money.

glammanana Wed 14-Oct-20 12:12:15

I personally would be ashamed to pay someone £7.00 per hour for any job they did for me.

sparklingsilver28 Wed 14-Oct-20 12:26:51

I have been honest all my life, however, seeing what goes on in this country, fraud by the powerful in one form or another, I have no conscience whatsoever in paying my cleaner cash. She has been a God send, and relies on my continued financial support as much as I her physical in this difficult time. I do not believe in exploiting people and pay her fairly. I also leave her to understand and deal with the issue of NI since I have no doubt her income insufficent to pay tax.

Esspee Wed 14-Oct-20 12:31:06

It is not only immoral to pay a cleaner £7 an hour, in the U.K. it is illegal.

sodapop Wed 14-Oct-20 12:32:54

That's how I feel too Maggiemaybe for that small amount I would not be concerned about her tax status.

PinkCakes Wed 14-Oct-20 12:35:36

You're paying her £7 an hour?! That's not much. The Minumum Wage is £8.72 for over 25s.

If I could afford a cleaner, I'd be glad if they did a decent job and I wouldn't even think about anything else.

Ashcombe Wed 14-Oct-20 12:40:33

My cleaner has charged £12 per hour for the past six years. She is registered for tax but sorts all that out herself. £7 per hour is much too low.

3nanny6 Wed 14-Oct-20 12:54:00

The cleaner may be on benefits but she is allowed to earn a nominal amount before she has to declare it, sorry I do not know how much that is.
Perhaps that is why she charges £7 pounds an hour so she does not go over the limit of what she can earn.
Sometimes people are quick to judge a single parent and the woman is probably just trying to earn that few pound to help herself out. Being a single parent can put people in a Catch 22 situation and it can be a vicious circle to get out of.

dragonfly46 Wed 14-Oct-20 12:59:55

I pay £12.50 an hour for my cleaner - £7 is below the minimum wage!

travelsafar Wed 14-Oct-20 13:16:43

I know a single mum who does cleaning 'on the side'. She charges 10.00 per hour and does a brilliant job. She has a little one at nursery so unable to take a 'proper job' as all the issues with school holidays , inset days and child sickness cause her problems. Whether or not she declares it i have no idea. All i know is the elderly people who rely on her each week are happy to see her and pay her. She will also do their shopping collect prescriptions and if able too will take them to gp appointments and the hospital. This takes so much off their families , and takes the fear of being a nusiance off the people as they see themselves as being independant as they pay as she supports them so well. Two sides to every story i guess.

SueDonim Wed 14-Oct-20 13:23:12

I’d be too embarrassed to pay a cleaner £7 an hour That’s a disgraceful wage. I pay my cleaner £12.50 an hour. I paid her during lockdown until she informed me that she was now receiving support from the government because she declares all her earnings.

nanasam Wed 14-Oct-20 13:30:59

I pay my 14 year old grandson £10 an hour! We're helping him out as he likes to buy his (first) girlfriend flowers and sweets (how cuuute is that?) so find him jobs to do.

So I totally agree that £7 is unfair payment for a cleaner.