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  1. Hello, I have known all along that my situation was not right, but I have no idea what to do about it & I'm a little nervous about getting in to trouble! I have been working as a full time, live-in carer for 21 months. When I took the job I was given the impression that it was part-time, but it most certainly is not! I had hoped to carry on my usual self employment along side, but this has been impossible. The day starts at 7am & finishes at 11pm but I am also on call all night. My employer is an elderly man of 93 yrs, partially disabled by a stroke just over 2 years ago, but mentally very alert (does the Guardian & Times cryptic crosswords in a few hours). He never leaves the one room he lives in & all his toilet facilities have to be brought to him - there is no plumbing in the room. The location is very rural & the longest I can leave him is 90 minutes, so most of the shopping has to be done on line. Everything that he needs to be done for him, or about the place, is done by me. He has a niece who lives 20 miles away & visits approximately once every three months! It was she who was involved in hiring me - via a hand written advert in a newsagents window. Each week I am paid £200 for 7 days (24 hours per day!) & if I want time off I have to arrange it & pay for it out of this. Since I have been here I have had 9 days holiday, & my employer paid for the cover. I asked about the employment situation when I started & the niece told me that if anyone asked - the money I received for my work was 'household expenses'. I knew that this was not right, but I had hoped I wouldn't have to do the job for very long, so it would not be an issue. The first year I did my accounts, most of the year was still my old self employment, so I just added my carer wages into my receipts. About that time I phoned HM RC to ask them about the following year, but in retrospect I do not think they actually heard what I told them, because the adviser said all was fine & I could earn up wards of £400 a week & still not pay any tax - he then mentioned a revenue document. I made a note of this but didn't actually read it until just before I did my accounts in January this year - when I realized that this actually referred to a scheme where an elderly person is looked after in someone else's home & not in their own. It seemed much too late to do anything about it then, so I described myself as a self-employed carer & filled out my tax return accordingly, even though I know that am actually an employee but I don't know what to do about it! I have been going through a divorce & trying to negotiate a financial settlement, but still as yet have no money. However after 21 months working here I have now had as much as I can stand, and have handed in my notice, & will be finishing on March 27th. The elderly mans niece has already sorted out my replacements, a very sweet young traveler couple, who no doubt will also be told that their wages are 'household expenses'. This may not be such a worry to them as they may be 'off radar' & not care! I just feel that I have been put in a very difficult position - & it has all been done to keep my employers costs down - no employers NI contributions, no employers insurance, nothing! He is not a poor man, though he has a poor mentality - he owns his property which although dilapidated is in a very desirable area, he lives on the income from stocks & shares, receives the higher rate carers allowance & has several tens of thousands in his current account. Should I just leave, forget about it all & hope the HM RC never have cause to look more closely. Should I contact them again & draw their attention to the situation? (If I do I certainly will not get a reference in future & I could do with one if I seek employment as I have been self employed for decades). Do I have anything to gain by contacting HM RC - other than a sense of fair play? All advise gratefully received!
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