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How old to be self employed?

Didn't find your answer?

So I'm after everyone's views on this as there is next to no guidance that I can find online.

My 15 year old sister in law has just got her 1st job in a burger van.

It's seasonal work, so won't be for too long.

The lady she works for has decided that she doesn't want to have to deal with payroll of any kind, so is getting all of the workers to invoice her for work done, most of them school age.

As it is still school term (although nobody seems to be going) my sister in law would only legally be able to work 12 hours a week, but over the last week she has worked 45, not really had the breaks she should have.

She doesn't seem to mind as she likes the fact she now is getting a decent amount of money. But none of it sits right with me.

I've never really had to deal with payroll, so am a bit unfamiliar with employment law, only really know what I learnt working as a restaurant manager, so I'm not too sure if any of this seems OK, or if it all seems a bit off?

If she doesn't need to be employed, will the usual S/A rules apply to her regardless of her age? Just no NI to pay I assume?

And also would she then be able to work however many hours she would want to? Or would this be limited as if she was employed?

Like I said, can't really find any guidance online, only on employment, so would be extremely grateful for everyone's views.

 

Thanks.

Replies (36)

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Oaklea
By Chris.Mann
13th Jul 2020 15:03

Call me old fashioned but this has a terrible ring of irresponsibility and lack of safeguarding for a 15 year old.

If this were any relative of mine, I'd be truly concerned.

https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/child-protection-system/children-the-law might be useful reading for the parents?

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By K81
13th Jul 2020 15:08

I would think that she is not self-employed but obviously if you push this with her "employer" you risk being let go.

Also there are working time directives for under 18's which do not appear to be followed here.

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Replying to K81:
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By WorkingFromHome
13th Jul 2020 16:47

I also thought not self employed, and yes agree that if challenged she would probably let her go.
Do they just apply to employed? Cannot find any guidance on hours worked for non employed children

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Replying to WorkingFromHome:
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By Wanderer
13th Jul 2020 16:50

WorkingFromHome wrote:

Do they just apply to employed? Cannot find any guidance on hours worked for non employed children

You are going down the wrong route. Based on what you have told us so far the chances of her being genuinely self employed is so low it's not worth you considering this aspect any further.
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Replying to Wanderer:
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By WorkingFromHome
13th Jul 2020 16:59

Very true.
I completely agree that she should be employed.
But does this come back on her? Or the employer?

Also, if she was to then drop from 40 hours, to the 12 that she would have to, as it is still term time, I can't see her being happy with the drop in earnings.

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Replying to WorkingFromHome:
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By Wanderer
13th Jul 2020 17:10

WorkingFromHome wrote:

But does this come back on her? Or the employer?

Does what come back on her??

It is the employer's responsibility to follow the regulations. It is not the child's responsibility to know / enforce them

But the practical consequence of the issue being raised is that your sister in law will be longer continuing in this engagement whatever her status.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
13th Jul 2020 15:09

This worker is an employee, no matter what her employer claims.

Report it to the local Council and insist that they follow the complaint through.

Don't be fobbed off.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By WorkingFromHome
13th Jul 2020 16:48

Completely agree, but this could result in her being forced out.
If anything was to come of this, would it fall on the employer?

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Replying to WorkingFromHome:
RLI
By lionofludesch
13th Jul 2020 16:58

WorkingFromHome wrote:

Completely agree, but this could result in her being forced out.
If anything was to come of this, would it fall on the employer?

No offence, but what outcome do you want from this ?

Somebody has to confront the employer or nothing will change.

What do you mean by "If anything was to come of this...." ? In what way ? Prosecution for child exploitation ? PAYE investigation ? What ?

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By WorkingFromHome
13th Jul 2020 17:04

I was just looking for rules for child self employment, cannot find anything online.

I'm not saying shes being treated unfairly, or taken advantage of. I think in fact she's been offering to do extra as she now likes the money coming in. It all just seemed a bit odd to me, especially if employed she could only legally do 12 hours a week, but self employed could do what she wants.

Investigation I suppose. Would all fall down on the employer wouldn't it?

Just curious, haven't had anything like this come up before

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Replying to WorkingFromHome:
RLI
By lionofludesch
13th Jul 2020 17:23

WorkingFromHome wrote:

I was just looking for rules for child self employment, cannot find anything online.

I'm not saying shes being treated unfairly, or taken advantage of. I think in fact she's been offering to do extra as she now likes the money coming in. It all just seemed a bit odd to me, especially if employed she could only legally do 12 hours a week, but self employed could do what she wants.

Investigation I suppose. Would all fall down on the employer wouldn't it?

Just curious, haven't had anything like this come up before

If HMRC question it - which is unlikely, bearing in mind that no-one seems to be bothered about trivial things like laws - your sister-in-law should insist that she was under the impression that her terms of engagement made her an employee. From what you say about the seasonal nature of the engagement, it's unlikely that there'll be a tax liability anyway. Maybe a bit of employer's NIC.

Where the stuff hits the fan is where one of the workers is injured - burns, perhaps. Has this employer got some Employer's Liability insurance ? I'm guessing no.

Still - it's the money that's important .......

Thanks (3)
By Tim Vane
13th Jul 2020 15:19

In nearly all cases it is a legal requirement for workers under 16 to register with local councils. The employer seems to be in breach of H&S and employment law as well as child protection laws. In order to avoid difficulties for your relative I suggest reporting the matter to your local council's children and families section (which you can usually do anonymously or in confidence). In my experience they will usually take this very seriously and act, forcing the employer to comply, whereas other agencies may not. Child safety is a high priority for most councils.

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Routemaster image
By tom123
13th Jul 2020 15:29

Is she working on her own?

Way to risky for me - but then I struggle to trust my 14 y/o with the toaster.

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Replying to tom123:
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By WorkingFromHome
13th Jul 2020 16:50

No, and isn't doing anything that would be seen as too much, and no actual cooking.

She's a very mature 15 year old and is more than happy to do the work and get paid for it, just cannot find anything online anywhere regarding this

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By SXGuy
13th Jul 2020 16:08

Point one. She can't just decide she doesn't want to employ people.

Point two, she can't get people who work for her to just invoice her.

There are many other points. Which I can't be bothered to spell out.

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Replying to SXGuy:
RLI
By lionofludesch
13th Jul 2020 16:13

SXGuy wrote:

Point one. She can't just decide she doesn't want to employ people.

I'd dispute that.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By SXGuy
14th Jul 2020 06:43

Well of course she can always refuse to take that person on. My point was, if it appears to be an employment she can't decide it isn't.

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By brian-scholar
13th Jul 2020 16:25

I'd agree with pretty much everything which has been said here, but back in the real world, I agree with lion.

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By Wanderer
13th Jul 2020 16:39

Agree with the above comments on laws / regulations / employment status etc.
BUT
You say "She doesn't seem to mind as she likes the fact she now is getting a decent amount of money."
& "But none of it sits right with me."

Well what do her parents think of the situation?

It may not fall within the regulations but as long as your sister in law is not in any danger many parents would be more than happy that their children were gainfully employed and getting some real life experience compared to what they could have been up to in the past few months.

Just adding a contrary view. You say in your other question "New to this so go easy on me"so you might not have much real life experience? This may not end well for your family relationships. By all means guide the parents but is it really something that you should be involving yourself in directly?

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Replying to Wanderer:
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By WorkingFromHome
13th Jul 2020 16:55

When I say none of it sits right with me, I just mean the whole employed/not employed situation. If she wants to work all those hours to get that money, then that's her decision.
Her parents agree. They see it as a good thing that she is working and earning for herself.
On your other point, I was meaning new to posting here, not new to accounting. I have plenty of real life experience. And I think my soon to be wife would be pretty annoyed at me if I wasn't looking out for her little sister? So see nothing wrong with involving myself.
Had a look online for some kind of guidance on ages for self employment, but couldn't find any, so posted here.

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Replying to WorkingFromHome:
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By Wanderer
13th Jul 2020 17:06

WorkingFromHome wrote:

When I say none of it sits right with me, I just mean the whole employed/not employed situation. If she wants to work all those hours to get that money, then that's her decision.
Her parents agree. They see it as a good thing that she is working and earning for herself.
On your other point, I was meaning new to posting here, not new to accounting. I have plenty of real life experience. And I think my soon to be wife would be pretty annoyed at me if I wasn't looking out for her little sister? So see nothing wrong with involving myself.
Had a look online for some kind of guidance on ages for self employment, but couldn't find any, so posted here.

Okay, so now we have established that she is NOT self employed AND her hours SHOULD be limited AND neither the child nor her parents are unhappy with the situation, will you be taking no further action regarding the situation?
On your hours for self employment question, no there are no age related restrictions AFAIK, I've certainly never seen any. Personally I'd much rather kids be gainfully self employed rather than spending all hours god gives stuck in their bedrooms paying Fortnite or an FaceAche.
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Replying to Wanderer:
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By WorkingFromHome
13th Jul 2020 17:11

No, won't be taking it any further, I'll just wait for the nice presents she can buy us all with her new found wealth.

This is what I wanted to know the most, as I couldn't find anything. It just seems so odd? And possibly overlooked?

And yes I agree, get them out, and in the real world, gaining some real life experience

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Replying to WorkingFromHome:
RLI
By lionofludesch
13th Jul 2020 17:24

WorkingFromHome wrote:

No, won't be taking it any further, I'll just wait for the nice presents she can buy us all with her new found wealth.

Mmmm - what did I just say ?

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Replying to Wanderer:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
13th Jul 2020 16:56

Life really has changed as to what is now "allowed "re work.

I have no idea really how many hours I worked /how self employed I was, but age 12-14 I was gardening, selling the produce grown (mainly to my parents) plus doing work for neighbours, helping out on a fish farm including pouring concrete, labouring, reed cutting, doing a sub contracted paper round and (though by then 16) working what hours I could get, through to 10.30/11.00 pm , in a pub, washing glasses, cleaning cellar, rolling in kegs and kilns, stocking bottles, cleaning toilets, tidying the gardens etc. I even did a stint taking cash in a petrol station , albeit sixteen by then.

And earlier it had been more paper rounds, helping out in a friend's mum's grocers and the spin off activity from that, going round Inverleith Park with my mum's shopping trolley collecting lemonade bottles for the cash

Despite living in a big house and going to private schools my father positively encouraged all of us us to go out and earn money, frankly at that age providing the workplace is safe and supervised I would (if not my client) frankly not care how paid.

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Replying to DJKL:
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By WorkingFromHome
13th Jul 2020 17:07

Completely agree to everything you say here.

It's just something I've not come across before and as I couldn't find anything online, thought I'd ask the question.

Just seems odd, that there are so many rules if she would be employed, biggest one being no more than 12 hours a week in term time, but then self employed, could do whatever?

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Replying to Wanderer:
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By Anonymous.
13th Jul 2020 16:57

Wanderer wrote:

many parents would be more than happy that their children were gainfully employed

You mean "gainfully SELF-employed"! :)

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By AWeb72
13th Jul 2020 17:21

You seem to be intent on finding something - anything, anywhere - which would make it ok for her to be classed as self-employed.
I'd be more interested in what happens when she has an injury while working. She's not employed so no employer liability in place either to cover her (in reality) employer in the event of an injury and she ends up with no recompense.

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By mrme89
13th Jul 2020 18:43

You say you are looking out for her. But you aren’t, are you?
You’re just trying to find something that says it’s ok. Tip: there isn’t anything. It’s wrong on a number of levels.

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Replying to mrme89:
RLI
By lionofludesch
13th Jul 2020 18:53

I'm wondering why the OP bothered asking the question.

There's clearly no interest from anyone in taking matters further.

What happened to parental responsibility ? Kids will be shoved up chimneys next.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
By mrme89
13th Jul 2020 19:59

When she’s stuck in a low paid job because her education suffered, then it’ll hit home that her parents failed her.

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By penelope pitstop
13th Jul 2020 19:01

FROM AGE ONE DAY!

On the basis that acting is traditionally self-employed, there is a chance that a one-day old baby playing the part of a one-day old baby in a film or TV role will be self-employed when they are one day old.

Hope that answers your question as to age.

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By Tax Dragon
14th Jul 2020 06:22

Self employment isn't normally paid by the hour.

[If it ever was, I suspect the same regulations would apply. (Penny uses the acting example. But child actors have to licensed. I mean the ones that earn money; not the ones that stand in the middle of the shop acting out a tantrum.)]

Have you wondered whether you have a civil duty here?

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Oaklea
By Chris.Mann
14th Jul 2020 08:42

Where's Bill Sikes, when you need him?

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Replying to Chris.Mann:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
14th Jul 2020 09:12

And all the tattie lifters .

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By bernard michael
14th Jul 2020 09:40

I'll wager you didn't discuss the situation and ramifications with the sister in law. Including that she'd probably get sacked or her contract not renewed. My knowledge of 15 year old girls (admittedly not recent) is that they can get very mouthy

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Replying to bernard michael:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
14th Jul 2020 09:46

They can manage the same in their mid twenties, the difference is that by then they are better educated, smarter, more articulate than their fifteen year old selves and accordingly far more likely to win the argument(or maybe that is just my one)

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