Question : My son finishes school next year and is considering joining the family business rather than going to university. I've only ever employed experienced workers before. Are there different rules applying to employing family members and/or young people?
Answer: Jim Andrew, Tax Assist Accountants, Cregagh Road, Belfast, replies:
Many young people are thinking twice about a university education given the hike in fees and we've had a lot of small local businesses remark on the increase in job applications from school leavers.
Whilst there are no separate rules regarding employing a family member, there are regulations you need to be aware of if you are thinking of employing anyone under the age of 21.
For instance, if they earn above £102 per week, they'll need to be added to the payroll, but they can earn up to £136 per week before you need to start calculating any deductions.
In addition the national minimum wage that applies to under-21s is lower than that for adults.
If you're planning to recruit anyone aged under 18 and they work during term time, you should operate the normal PAYE procedures used for any other employee.
And it is also worth noting that there is a lower limit on how many hours these people can work.
You should also take a look at the National Apprenticeship Service website http://www.delni.gov.uk/index/successthroughskills/apprenticeshipsni.html as this gives employers the opportunity to have some or all of the training costs subsidised by the government.