Top Tips on Payroll and Contracts for Domestic Staff


Published on February 19, 2021

Whether you are employing a domestic employee for the first time, or are already an employer. Setting up a contract of employment and operating a PAYE scheme, may feel a little daunting. But don’t worry, our friends at Stafftax are here to help. They compiled their top tips on payroll and contracts for domestic staff. To help support you through your journey as a domestic employer.

Contract of Employment

When looking at the top tips on payroll and contracts for domestic staff, lets’s look at contracts first. A contract of employment is an important document. It is a document between yourself and your employees. It not only helps to outline what duties and responsibilities your employee is expected to undertake. But it also provides your employee with a reference point. For which they can refer to throughout their employment.

Here are some of our top contract of employment tips for domestic employers:

Make sure to have a contract in place by the first day of the employment

As an employer, you have a duty to provide a contract of employment to your employee by their start date. To have this in place from the outset of employment is a great foundational block. Especially for your working relationship going forward.

Allow your employee’s time to look over their contract

It is good practice to allow your employee time to look over their contract. And raise any queries they may have. Addressing their contract queries at an early stage of employment will help to mitigate any potential issues. Issues that could arise further down the line.

Ensure that all the relevant information is included within the contract

There are certain elements that you should include within the contract of employment. These include, but are not limited to the following.

  • Start date
  • Salary
  • Hours of work
  • Description of duties
  • Holiday entitlement
  • Details of any other leave
  • Any additional training and benefits
  • Details of the probation
  • Notice period

Keep a copy of the contract on file

Both parties should keep a copy of the contract of employment on file, so that they may refer to it throughout the duration of the employment.

Review the contract accordingly

If there are any changes to your employee’s role, we recommend that you review the contract of employment and if necessary, issue a new contract which is reflective of the changes.


For the second port of the top tips on payroll and contracts for domestic staff, let’s look at payroll. As an employer, it is important to ensure that you have a PAYE scheme in place, so that you may declare the relevant information to HMRC. Using a payroll provider, such as Stafftax, will help to ensure that you are fulfilling your legal obligations as an employer. Plus, you will also have the support of experienced employment advisors, who will be able to support through queries that may arise, such as sick leave, maternity pay and holiday entitlements.

Here are a few of our top payroll tips:

Set up your payroll as soon as possible

The process of setting up a PAYE scheme with HMRC can take several weeks. We would recommend starting this process as early as possible so that your PAYE is set up and in place for the start of the employment.

Understand your employment costs

Understand your total employment costs, from the outset this will enable you to budget accordingly and will mean that there are no hidden surprises later on down the line. In addition to the employee’s gross salary, employers may also find that they have a National Insurance and Pension Contribution to make (salary dependent). If you would like help calculating your total cost, simply visit Stafftax’s salary calculator, which can be found here.

Agree on a gross salary

We recommend agreeing on a gross salary with your employee. By agreeing on a gross salary, the employer will be protected against any unpaid tax liabilities from previous employments, that may otherwise fall on them to pay. Agreeing on a gross is also better for the employee too, as on a gross agreement it will be the employee that benefits from any increase to the Governments tax-free allowance.

Make sure to declare any changes to the payroll

If there are any changes to your employee’s working pattern, such as sick leave, holiday or overtime, this should be reflected in the relevant pay period. Make sure to tell your payroll provider as soon as you are aware of any changes, so that the payslips are updated accordingly.

This blog has been written by our friends at Stafftax, who are our recommended service provider for payroll and more.

We hope you found this article with all the top tips on payroll and contracts for domestic staff helpful. Stafftax have been providing professional payroll servicesemployment contractsworkplace pensions and trusted HR advice to thousands of domestic employers for more than 15 years. If you’d like support or guidance on these matters, the Stafftax team will be happy to assist.

If you want a personal referral from Polo & Tweed, then get in touch with us, and we’d be delighted to make a personal introduction.

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