Friday 2 September 2011

Friday: Laugh At California Day

Since Friday isn't really a popular blog-reading day, I've noticed many in my blogroll tend to put up funny articles at the end of the week. I've never got into such a habit seeing as there is so much to laugh already if you look at the antics of politicians.

Take California, for example.

Under AB 889, household "employers" (aka "parents") who hire a babysitter on a Friday night will be legally obligated to pay at least minimum wage to any sitter over the age of 18 (unless it is a family member), provide a substitute caregiver every two hours to cover rest and meal breaks, in addition to workers' compensation coverage, overtime pay, and a meticulously calculated timecard/paycheck.

Failure to abide by any of these provisions may result in a legal cause of action against the employer including cumulative penalties, attorneys' fees, legal costs and expenses associated with hiring expert witnesses, an unprecedented measure of legal recourse provided no other class of workers - from agricultural laborers to garment manufacturers. (On the bright side, language requiring an hour of paid vacation time for every 30 hours worked was amended out of the bill in the Senate.)
Just think about that for a moment if you have ever offered a tenner, some crisps, and a bowl of Celebrations to a nephew/niece, or next door neighbour's teen, to sit and watch the TV for a few hours while you pop out. Perhaps even on a night like tonight.

If, like Californians, we were similarly afflicted with ridiculously idealistic and astoundingly dozy lefties in charge, imagine the hassle this would cause.

- Firstly, no-one under 16 would be allowed (this would probably fall into both child labour laws and panic about anyone younger being unable to look after anyone, even themselves).

- You'd be required to ask for a P45 or else make them fill in a P46 which must be submitted on the first day of their employment.

- Assurances would have to be sought, in writing, that the person was eligible to work in the UK under illegal immigration laws.

- They would require an enhanced CRB clearance to work with kids before setting foot in your house.

- You'd be required to register with HMRC as an employer, complete with tax reference number.

- You'd be required to issue a contract of employment within 2 months of their starting to look after your sprogs.

- Say you were off to a party at around 7pm, and expected to return at midnight, you couldn't pay less than £18.20 for under 18s, or £24.60 for 18-20s. As the California law requires a stand-in for breaks every 2 hours, you'd either pay that twice, or make arrangements for someone else over 16 - who has been P46'd, CRB'd, immigration-cleared, and registered for tax - to mosey along a couple of times during the night ... at the same NMW rates.

- Employers' NI contribution would be required to be paid by you at 13.8% if either earn more than £136 in any one year.

- Don't forget the mandatory regular printed payslip showing all deductions.

- Any tax accrued by the babysitter(s) would have to be deducted by you and sent to HMRC by the 19th of each month.

- In April each year, you'd submit your babysitters' PAYE and NIC P11 stats and a P35 return.

- I'd advise you to take a note of the ACAS helpline number and/or take out employer's litigation insurance.
Or perhaps you just don't fancy going to parties anymore. Best stay in and tell the teen they've lost the chance of a bit of easy cash.

Those lefties are such a caring bunch, aren't they?


Anonymous said...

The required California workman's compensation insurance can be quite pricey too, in order to cover the "employee" in case he/she gets hurt while during working hours, to cover his/her medical expenses. Based on a percent of gross earnings rated by risk factor by profession, it's basically another employment tax but that gets paid to an insurance company instead of government and also requires quarterly, semi-annually and final end of year reports and audit to true up total yearly premium to the penny. The law will be a nightmare for anyone wishing to use a babysitter and a lawsuit waiting to happen for anyone who does not jump through all the hoops and gets sued by legalistic parents of the babysitter or raided and arrested by government enforcers/police. I guess that will also turn the home into a workplace and as such, smoking must be banned. In fact, it might be the whole aim of this law, is just to find another in-road for private-home smoking bans. It is California. I wouldn't put it past them as to motive.

John Pickworth said...

You could pretty much tell where we were headed when they started coining terms like "illegal working"....

We're all slaves of the State. It really really does make me sick to even think about it.

Leg-iron said...

They don't want you going out. If you go out you might drink, and that's evil.

It's only a matter of time before you come home, pay the babysitter, and find they call the police after they leave to report you as 'drunk in charge of a child'.

You can't make this stuff up. I can't make it up and I make stuff up for money!

Sam Duncan said...

If the media weren't so full of Lefties and dimwits (but I repeat myself), there'd be a good “reality” show in this. “The Regulated House”, or something. As it is, even if it were made, the angle would be that it all isn't so hard really and it's all for our own good.

Anonymous said...

I commented on this very subject at another blog:

"Good Lord! Meal and rest breaks during a few hours of sitting on one's arse watching television while the sproglet is asleep upstairs? Only in America...

I'm surprised danger pay wasn't added to the list in case the neighbourhood serial killer breaks in."