Working for their pocket money

I run a cafe and would like my kids to work there during the summer holidays when they’re off school. I would really like to pay them for the hours they work- to make them appreciate money! But I don’t want too much paperwork to deal with- is there any way I can get round it?

1st June 2011

In order to avoid paperwork and calculations, firstly make sure that they only work during holidays; and not term-time.

Each of them must also complete and sign form P38(S) which you can download from HM Revenue & Customs’ website.

If they receive over £102 per week, you will need to ‘add’ them to your payroll records, as their details and pay will need to go on the year end forms submitted to HM Revenue & Customs.

But, provided they do not earn any more than £136 per week, you won’t need to calculate or deduct any PAYE or National Insurance; and nor will you have to pay Employer’s National Insurance either!

Also make sure their hourly rates are in-line with the National Minimum Wage for their age group:

  • £5.93 - aged 21 and over 
  • £4.92 - aged 18-20
  • £3.64 - aged 16-17 (for workers above school leaving age but under 18)

There are also lots of restrictions on when and how long children can work and their breaks, so please make sure you are aware of these requirements. You may also need to contact the Council depending on their age. Note, children under the age of 13 generally cannot be legally employed.

If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to contact your local TaxAssist Accountant.

By Jo Nockels

Disclaimer: The information provided is based on current guidance (at date of publication) from HMRC and may be subject to change. Any advice shared here is intended to inform rather than advise. Taxpayer's circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this information, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.

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