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A dad needs advice about the construction industry

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Peter Bowen, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. Peter Bowen

    Peter Bowen UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    834 219
    My daughter (19) just finished college studying site carpentry. The college put her in touch with a contractor who wants workers for 6 weeks. She got the job offer but it looks a little dodgy.

    She'll be paid £200/week, by a personal cheque from the boss. She didn't need to give her UTR (tax number).

    I'd value your thoughts.
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: Peter Bowen Member since: Jul 2, 2007
  2. Gecko001

    Gecko001 UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    2,480 386
    I thought that it was National Insurance number that employer's asked for. It has been a while since I have employed someone so I might be out of date.
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: Gecko001 Member since: Apr 21, 2011
  3. Peter Bowen

    Peter Bowen UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    834 219
    Yeah, he didn't want the NI number either.

    This smells fishy to me but I've never worked in the construction field in the UK so I don't know if this is normal practice or not.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: Peter Bowen Member since: Jul 2, 2007
  4. estwig

    estwig UKBF Legend Full Member

    11,642 4,030
    She wants to tell him to s*d off with his cheque, and put cash in her hand on a Friday afternoon!

    Welcome to the building game, where rules are for other people and cash is king!
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: estwig Member since: Sep 29, 2006
  5. estwig

    estwig UKBF Legend Full Member

    11,642 4,030
    In seriousness it is common practice to pay the young labourers cash, it's almost seen as doing them a favour.

    A personal cheque is unusual, that's iffy especially as cheque number 6 could be made of rubber. I have two daughters of a similar age, I'd be inclined to say go for it, keep the girl busy, it'll be good experience. She should be pushing for cash on a Friday, that would be the norm. Do a couple of days work, show your worth, then bring up the subject of pound notes in your pocket.
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: estwig Member since: Sep 29, 2006
  6. CriticalThinker

    CriticalThinker UKBF Contributor Full Member - Verified Business

    53 9
    @estwig is absolutely right that the construction industry operates its own rules for its own convenience! Having just finished a consultancy project with a construction company I cannot tell you the difficulty I had trying to ensure they went down the right path not the path that suited them best but ignored legislation!

    However if your daughter is wishing to stay on the straight and narrow, and I'm making some assumptions here, she will need to think about the following:

    - Is she going to be an employed individual on a 6 week contract? (this would be unusual in the construction industry but worth checking status of contract for IR35 compliance)
    - If not, is she registered as a Sole Trader with HMRC and has a UTR? (Assuming she does as you mentioned it)
    - Has she registered for CIS deductions?
    - Does she understand her obligations under the CIS?
    - How is she going to invoice the contractor, at the end of each week (in line with the £200 payment) or end of the 6 week contract? Probably the former.

    The above list is not exhaustive but gives some initial pointers. My honest opinion is that whilst the above is the right way to do things, the construction industry deals a lot in cash and I have seen contractors not engaged because they tow the line and some contractors see it as a nuisance; it's of course easier to pay cash off the books. Your daughter may come across this with this contractor, they'd probably be surprised she's even asked the question, but I guess it comes down to your decision - are you comfortable with a cash in hand job or not? I would suggest you aren't especially given her youthful age and starting out in her working career.

    Good luck to her either way
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: CriticalThinker Member since: Jul 2, 2018
  7. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    6,976 2,713
    We have been using UK and German construction companies on and off for the past 30 years or maybe longer and in all that time, we have only paid after invoice and included VAT, though I personally have commissioned a few private jobs for cash from neighbours and friends.

    But all the regular building companies did not indulge in any shenanigans and everything went by the books.

    If this is a dodgy company, payment by personal cheque is really uber-dodgy.
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  8. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    9,114 2,318
    How many hours is she working? Does £200 meet the minimum wage? Can she stay in bed and send someone else to fo it?

    It looks very iffy to me. I would be inclined to contact HMRC with all details and ask their opinion , but I am a very much older persona and not desperate for work.
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012