As part of the interview process we carry out with all Housekeeping staff who register with Hummingbird Home Staff, we check that they have a current CRB (DBS) check, their qualifications and that they have good references. It is one way that we help to simplify the process so there are fewer things for you to deal with.

You will have to have a contract of employment in place within 12 weeks of the housekeeper starting work for you. You will need to think about holiday entitlement, restrictions on when your housekeeper can take holiday whether or not to pay sick pay over any statutory sick pay you would be obliged to pay amongst other things.

You will need to run a payroll. Whilst you will be paying your housekeeper a net amount each week, if she earns more than £149 per week you will also have to pay her employee and your employer NI contributions. If her pay exceeds £189 per week, you will also have to pay her tax. You will need to register yourself as an employer with HM Revenue and Customs for PAYE purposes. You must also register if your housekeeper has another job, even if you are paying her below the threshold. Even if you are paying below this level, you should still consider registering as this will enable her to receive a state pension and other benefits.

Don’t be tempted to try and avoid paying the tax and NI contributions, as HMRC has stated that they will be looking hard at the status of any Housekeeper's employment. If you are found to be in breach of the law, you will have to pay over the tax and NI that you should have paid as well as penalties and interest.

It all seems daunting but help is readily to hand. Hummingbird Housekeepers recommend that families use Stafftax which is a staff payroll service who will ensure that everything is in place and you have nothing to worry about. They can also help with contracts of employment and have a legal department available to you should the need arise.