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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:27 am 
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Passenger Assistants – Payment of Minimum Wage & Employment Status



Concerns have been raised regarding the way in which some passenger assistants are employed by contractors. These relate to payment of the minimum wage and payment of National Insurance and tax. Contractors are asked to carefully read this notice which sets out the Council’s position on these matters.



All passenger assistants must receive at least the minimum wage, which is currently £7.20 per hour. Contractors must ensure that wages are paid for the full extent of the Passenger Assistant’s working time each day, bearing in mind that they will be typically considered to be “mobile workers” .

It is important that you make an assessment of whether any working time is payable during the period that no passengers are on the vehicle.

The Council reserves the right to ask for proof of gross wages to passenger assistants and as part of this would expect to see information about the number of hours being paid. We will ask for this information as part of our base audits, but will also undertake separate random checks across the remainder of the year.



Contractors must make sure that they comply with all current employment legislation when employing passenger assistants. This means that you must assess the employment status of passenger assistants in relation to National Insurance and income tax deductions.

The Council’s view is that passenger assistants cannot be considered to be self-employed and, therefore, should be on the contractor’s payroll for PAYE – in other words, we would generally not expect contractors to be paying passenger assistants gross wages and expecting them to make their own payments to HMRC.



Please note that if you fail to comply with the HMRC’s requirements, that you could be liable for payment of National Insurance and income tax for these employees back dated for several years. HMRC also investigate allegations of failure to pay the minimum wage and where proven they publish the names of employers, along with the amounts they owe employees. Under the terms of your Contract with the Council, information can be shared with Crown bodies. Where the Council finds evidence of non-compliance with minimum wage or other employment legislation, this will be referred to HMRC where appropriate for further investigation.



When bidding for work, Contractors should take care with their pricing to ensure that all employment costs have been fully accounted for in the prices offered for a given contract.



The Council places great importance on Contractors complying with all of the above requirements and ensuring that Contractors are not avoiding their statutory obligations in an attempt to reduce costs. Where we find evidence of this, the strongest possible compliance action will be taken and information shared with HMRC, Licensing Authorities, and DVSA as may be appropriate.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:28 am 
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Quote:
When bidding for work, Contractors should take care with their pricing to ensure that all employment costs have been fully accounted for in the prices offered for a given contract.


but we still want it done for peanuts

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:54 am 
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They would also have to factor in , any rises in the min wage


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:21 pm 
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skippy41 wrote:
They would also have to factor in , any rises in the min wage


they are already on it


Quote:
Passenger Assistants – Minimum Wage Increase 1st April 2017

Please note that further to the notice sent earlier on today, that whilst the minimum wage is currently £7.20 per hour, this rises to £7.50 per hour from 1st April 2017. Our apologies for not clarifying this in the original communication.

The snippet below is taken from the Government’s minimum wage information:


Contractors must ensure that wage rates are adjusted accordingly with effect from 1st April.


But of course the contractor cant increase the rate charged...

My reply?


Quote:
MY Passenger assistany IS Self Employed and registered as such with HMRC

She invoices me an agreed amount

Is this acceptable?


and..


Quote:
After 30 years in the trade I can say with some certainty that most escorts are cash in hand paid and underpaid, and quite a few infringe benefit claim rules. Maybe the next compliance checks should include a dss and hmrc rep be on site.

Thanks.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:24 pm 
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Thanks for your email. We cannot say in every single case that a passenger assistant is not self-employed for tax purposes – but the HMRC’s employment status checker suggests that a PA would be an employee. I would suggest that you seek some further advice on your specific situation. If you have an accountant they should be able to advise; some insurance policies come with access to free legal advice via telephone who may be able to advise; or contact the ACAS employment advice helpline (which is for both employers and employees) as they can provide free of charge advice. Details of the ACAS advice helpline are at http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2042 .

I hope that this assists with your query.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:36 pm 
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Just because a passenger assistant says they are self employed does not mean that they are. The do have to satisfy the rules for self employment. I can't see how they can.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:11 pm 
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grandad wrote:
Just because a passenger assistant says they are self employed does not mean that they are. The do have to satisfy the rules for self employment. I can't see how they can.


By being registered

and having more than 1 "customer"

(or being a partner in the business)


If county are SO worried they should either employ the escorts or state what hours the escort should be paid for...total hours in the car or hours spent with pupild onboard.

this communication means jack 5hit cos they have no powers to check who gets what anyway

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:50 pm 
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wannabeeahack wrote:
grandad wrote:
Just because a passenger assistant says they are self employed does not mean that they are. The do have to satisfy the rules for self employment. I can't see how they can.


By being registered

and having more than 1 "customer"

(or being a partner in the business)


If county are SO worried they should either employ the escorts or state what hours the escort should be paid for...total hours in the car or hours spent with pupild onboard.

this communication means jack 5hit cos they have no powers to check who gets what anyway

Can they subcontract the work? do they provide tools of the trade? Do they have to put right any wrong work at their own expense?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:11 am 
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and having more than 1 "customer"

not at the same time surely although if they are a subcontractor i.e. working for different companies for certain periods surely they come under subcontractor rules like in the building trade ?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:32 pm 
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grandad wrote:

Can they subcontract the work? yes (to another escort)

do they provide tools of the trade? (yes...a phone)

Do they have to put right any wrong work at their own expense? (yes... but how can you get it wrong?)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:33 pm 
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Focused on the escorts but not a mention about drivers or the base ops (and they need badges from county now too)

Champagne service on lemonade money

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:37 am 
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Remember these employees are also entitled to annual leave payments, you must have a pension scheme in place for them etc etc.

I work as a bus driver on a zero-hours contract for the only independent London bus company, and they have to pay me annual leave pro-rata. so a shift for say £200 includes annual leave pay. they also have a private pension scheme. The zero hours suits me, I work when I need to these days, not because I have to.

That firm does not take on any "self-employed" drivers any more. The few that are there don't get annual leave payments, don't get paid through meal breaks, no training costs paid, no pension...


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:55 am 
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All the Passenger assistants I've ever had have been supplied by and paid for by the Local authority...don't know if that's normal practice up here or not.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:14 pm 
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Its all pi55ing in the wind without compliance checking

am i paying the NMW?

yeah, course i am

thats ok then, bye

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:12 pm 
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I asked about emergency cover on my run, asking foir updated contractor lists and got told all arrangements must be requested/informed to the transport (county) office for approval

i asked who was on duty in the office at 7am when i have to set off.......... no reply

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