Cost of labour not just financial
Published 08/06/2016 | 02:30
I am a beef farmer close to retiring age and I am finding the extra demands of the silage season difficult to manage. I need to employ some extra farm labour to help me as I have always done the silage cutting myself and do not wish to get in a contractor. What do I need to know from a legal prospective about employing a labourer and what are the tax implications as I have never done this before?
As the Summer is heating up and the silage season is well under way, many farmers will inevitably be finding the extra demands on their time and physical labour difficult to cope with on their own. While contractors are an option for many in an effort to reduce the workload, it can be expensive and this system will not suit all farmers.
For those who choose to hire contractors, you will not have to worry about paying 'stamps' etc for contractors, however, you do have to consider factors like have you adequate insurance in place? The landowner is not normally responsible for dangers created by contractors due to the negligent or dangerous practices of the contractor employed. However, the landowner has to have taken all reasonable care in the circumstances. So what do you have to do to ensure that you have taken reasonable care?
The biggest issue arises for the landowner where he knows that the safety measures used by the contractor are not sufficient and/or dangerous.
You should ask around as to the competency of the contractors and observe their safety practices. You should also satisfy yourself that the drivers are over the legal age and are capable and careful. If you know the contractor is not capable of doing the work safely, then you should not hire them.
Employing farm labour
It is important for all employers to be aware that the costs of an employee are not just financial. Being an employer means you are responsible for providing certain rights for your employees and proper working conditions.