View Full Version : Employing people for cnc work?
15-11-2014, 02:24 PM
Hi currently have an online bussiness selling something unrelated to cnc. At the moment it makes me a living and allows me to mess around with cnc. I have picked up some nice machines including a 1997 thermwood c53 router, 2001 bridgeport 3 axis eztrak, I have built my own laser cutter, and I have just bought a plastic injection mold machine.
I have a few ideas for products that I can sell. I used to design products for a living and I have costed out everything and think there is a profit to be made. The trouble is I need help or even just a business partner to provide motivation. I can't afford a proffersional cnc operator nor do I need one but I could do with someone who is intrested in both runnning, building and maintaining machines, basicly someone from this forum who is into diy and is looking to make some money from their hobby.
The biggest fear I have is health and safety and the costs involved in making my machines safe to use. I have no idea how this sort of stuff works and wether I need insurance. Can I take someone on who is self employed, do I still need to follow safety protocall and provide insurance.
This would be a fairly relaxed job with no specific job descriprion, one day we would be rebuilding my laser cutter and the next making a plastic injection mold tool.
I am based in central Scotland, looking for someone to help out with various jobs. Maybe we could do a barter system, like one day we work on my project the next we work on yours? I don't know just putting out feelers to see if this is attractive to anyone.
The biggest fear I have is health and safety and the costs involved in making my machines safe to use. I have no idea how this sort of stuff works and wether I need insurance.
Generally, http://gov.uk/ is pretty good for locating guidance on this, and it much more authorative than we are.
I'm not personally a lawyer, and this is based off my own recollections and understanding. I have only considered employing/subcontracting someone, I have not actually done so.
Can I take someone on who is self employed
The most obvious measure of whether someone is considered a contractor or an employee is a determination made by HMRC. This affects whether you have to admin PAYE etc., Fortunately, there's a web tool (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/calcs/esi.htm) which if you meet the stated requirements is binding on HMRC.
It mostly seems to depend on how much control you have over what they're doing. If you can say when, where and how they work, they're likely to be an employee - especially if they're not providing their services to others.
do I still need to follow safety protocall and provide insurance.
If they're a contractor as far as HSE is concerned (do note that HSE and HMRC do have different definitions!), then according to advice from HSE (http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hse40.pdf) you may not strictly require Employer's Liability Insurance.
Do consider that if someone does manage to get their arm wrapped around the spindle of your mill, then you might be held liable (your machine on your property) even if they're not strictly your employee.
Additionally you might need to get permission from the mortgage company etc., and to you might think about public or product liability insurance.
I hope you're following health and safety protocol anyway! If I remember correctly, it's mostly simple stuff; like your machines have guards, you're keeping the floor clear of trip hazards, you're wearing safety glasses, your e-stops work, you've got fire extinguishers (see various stories on this forum). Often very little is specified as legally required, it's more whether it can be justified as reasonably safe - ie., the risk is managed.
Maybe we could do a barter system, like one day we work on my project the next we work on yours?
Obviously, the further you get away from the standard arrangement, the harder it gets to find advice. I do however seem to remember reading that you should keep records of such goods or services in kind, because the value of said goods and services should feature on your tax return.
16-11-2014, 08:43 AM
I'm not a lawyer either but have setup/run a few similar start-ups. Ultimately it depends on what the relationship is. If you are employing someone (even if you are both joint directors/employees) you need employers insurance, you are also responsible for doing employers tax and ni returns.
Better to be an informal partnership but you'll need advice on a minimum level of legal agreement detailing ownership, how proceeds, etc are split on dissolution and so on. Each then is responsible for their own insurance and tax issues, but don't underestimate the need for personal liability insurance if someone is working on someone else's machine.
If the other person is a contractor to you (like a gardner or decorator) then they should have their own insurance and do their own tax/ni anyway but you need to document their duties as this isn't an obvious relationship (i.e. a gardner gardens, but doesn't fix tiles on the roof for example). Again if this is on your own home premises your normal home insurance third party liability probably won't cover it so you'll need additional insurance.
16-11-2014, 10:38 AM
I will throw this into the mix. When I sold my business I was asked for the the past employees liability insurance documents, I had kept the last 16 years worth of them. I think they have to be kept for 40 years.
Also I employed a guy as a contractor for about nine months and was told that if the guy was working solely for me for more that about two months then the I.R. would treat that as being an employee in the full sense of the meaning.
I am glad that I am now out of the rat race. Best on luck though. :beer: ..Clive
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