Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do my carers qualify for sick pay?

Employees may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they:

  • Are sick for more than three consecutive days
  • Earn above the Lower earnings limit (£120 per week for tax year 2021/22)
  • Provide you with a sick certificate/fit note from their doctor, although they can self-certify for the first 7 days using the agreed format between employer and employee

The current rate of SSP is £96.35 per week (tax year 2021/22), and can be paid instead of or as part of their normal rate of pay, at your discretion.

If your employee doesn’t meet the criteria to qualify, or has reached the maximum amount of SSP of 28 weeks, a SSP1 form will be provided for the employee; they can then use this to claim sickness benefit through JobCentrePlus.

Q. Do my carers qualify for holiday pay?

Yes. Current legislation provides that employees are entitled to a minimum 5.6 weeks paid holiday per year. (4 weeks plus the bank holidays). This means each employee is allowed 5.6 weeks paid leave at their normal hours (full time employees get 5.6 weeks at full time hours, part-time employees get 5.6 weeks at part time hours)

You will need to agree when the holiday year starts and finishes with your employees at the start of their employment.  During the leave year you will need to keep a record of the holidays taken by each employee and keep a total of the leave remaining.  If an employee starts or leaves part way through the year the holiday will need to be recalculated.

If you have employees that work variable hours, the holiday calculation is a little trickier than for regular full/part time hours, but we can provide a spreadsheet to help keep track or you can use the HMRC calculator as a guide.

Q. Should my employer pay me for working on bank holidays?

You do not have a statutory right to paid holiday on bank and public holidays. If your employer gives paid holiday on a bank or public holiday, then this can count towards your minimum holiday entitlement (see above).

There are eight permanent bank and public holidays in England and Wales (nine in Scotland and ten in Northern Ireland).

If you work on a bank or public holiday, there is no automatic right to an enhanced pay rate. What you get paid depends on your contract of employment.

If you are part time and your employer gives workers additional time off on bank holidays, this should be given pro rata to you as well, even if the bank holiday does not fall on your usual work day.

Q. Does my carer need to complete a tax return?

No, providing all their income comes from employment. However, if they are a live-in employee and they own a flat or house, which they rent out, then they do need to complete a tax return.

Q. My carer is pregnant, do I need to pay them maternity pay?

If they meet the qualifying conditions you will need to pay them statutory maternity pay (SMP).

Your employee must meet the following conditions to receive SMP:

  • Worked for you continuously – full or part-time – for at least 26 weeks up to and into the 15th week before the week the baby’s due.
  • Average earnings at least equal to the Lower Earnings Limit for National Insurance Contributions – £120 a week or £520 a month for 2021/22 tax year.
  • Given you the right paperwork confirming the pregnancy(MATB1 or doctor’s letter confirming birth) and sufficient notice of when they would like the SMP payments to start.

If your employee does not meet these conditions they do not qualify for SMP but do qualify for maternity leave. You will need to give them a form (SMP1) and they may be able to claim Maternity Allowance through the DWP.

An employee is legally entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave.  If she qualifies, then SMP is paid at:

  • For the first six weeks this is 90% of their average weekly earnings
  • For the following 33 weeks you must pay £151.97 per week for tax year 2021/22 or 90% of their average weekly earnings, whichever is lower
  • After this, maternity leave is unpaid.

Please contact us for information on Statutory Paternity Pay or Shared Parental Leave.

Do I have to offer a pension scheme?

Legally, all employers must now offer a work-place pension scheme for their employees.

When a new employee starts, they will need to be assessed for their eligibility for the pension scheme which will be one of these three categories:

  1. Entitled: does not earn enough to qualify for automatic enrolment into the pension scheme but can opt-in to contribute should they wish (the employer doesn’t make a contribution to this pension amount).
  2. Non-Eligible Jobholder: does not earn enough to qualify for automatic enrolment into the pension scheme but can opt-in to contribute should they wish (the employer does make a contribution to this pension amount).
  3. Eligible Jobholder: does earn enough to qualify for automatic enrolment into the pension scheme and contributions will be due (both employee and employer).  An employee can opt-out at any time.

If you choose to register your payroll with us, we will administer all your pension responsibilities on your behalf.

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