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  • Outworker Advice

    I'm getting to the point where I could really do with some help to cover my busy times.
    I don't necessarily need a person to do the sewing, but rather do all the cutting out and preparation.
    I'm not sure though whether that's considered to be employing somebody?
    I don't really want to get into the whole employer/employee bit just yet.
    Does anybody use outworkers who can give me some advice?
    Blog Website Flickr

  • #2
    no experience with outworkers other than on a much larger scale with my old employer. coats used outworkers to stitch up all the new designs, originally using uk based sewers but now it's all done in the far east simply due to cost.

    have you thought about contacting local higher education colleges (both degree and/or hnd), and offering work placement to textiles students?, at least you know you will get someone with a bit of empathy (hopefully!) for working with fabric, it would be free, and you can sell yourself to the course leaders on the basis of running a small business and that you can talk the student through what you do, give them some experience of life beyond college.

    or you could contact your local branch of the embroiderers guild, pop along to their next meeting and see if anyone is interested in earning themselves a bit of cash helping you out.
    lucykate crafts... blog

    lucykate crafts... on etsy

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    • #3
      I think contacting local higher education institutes is a great idea (bravo lucykate ) as many students will need extra cash and the experience. Alternatively I'd contact an agency as they'd probably be able to do all the nitty-gritty for you, as in contracts, insurance...

      I'd be interested to know what you decide to do - keep us posted.

      Visit my blog!
      http://peggycrafts.blogspot.com/

      Website:
      www.peggycrafts.co.uk

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      www.peggycrafts.etsy.com

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      • #4
        I had a meeting this afternoon with a business-link chap.

        To go down the employing somebody route sounds like a nightmare because you get into sick-pay, NI, holiday pay etc... etc. Not to mention the insurance and everything.

        To use an outworker basically means that I will be their customer, which means they have to be self-employed and sort out their own tax etc, and charge me for the work they have done.

        They also have to be responsible for maintaining their own equipment etc.

        It also means, because I'm not employing them, I don't have to worry about minimum-wage which is what was putting me off. Somebody could say they took 4 hours to make one PE bag etc, etc.

        So now I have to find somebody local to me, that I trust who can sew to an acceptable standard.

        Very scary!
        Blog Website Flickr

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        • #5
          I hire self employed people for my business..

          Its pretty simple .. You can't have someone working in your own home with you if the person is only self employed due to insurance issues. The self emp person must work from their home. However you of course can have "long meetings" in your home etc...

          You also need to trust the person regarding the tax as you we be liable if the person you pay isn't self employed..

          The stuff that take time and the need little skill is what you must hand over first so maybe not sewing but the prep to start with anyway ?

          PM me if you need any direct advice !
          .


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          • #6
            I occasionally do outwork for a company and they pay me cash in hand. It is so rare that spread over a year it becomes non taxable. I think what I am asking is will it be occasional work or regular. How occasional could make a difference I think.
            Carol
            God helps them that help themselves.

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            • #7
              Your best bet would be to draw up a contract that the person signs to say that they are working form their own home, doing outwork for you, that they are responsible for all tax and NI and informing the tax office that they are earning. We had this when I was working, as I worked for Solicitors at a time they drew up quite a simple document along these lines and they obviously knew all the legal implications. The onus is then on the worker and it will cover your back.

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              • #8
                hi, are you still hireing outworkers

                Originally posted by 0103media View Post
                I hire self employed people for my business..

                Its pretty simple .. You can't have someone working in your own home with you if the person is only self employed due to insurance issues. The self emp person must work from their home. However you of course can have "long meetings" in your home etc...

                You also need to trust the person regarding the tax as you we be liable if the person you pay isn't self employed..

                The stuff that take time and the need little skill is what you must hand over first so maybe not sewing but the prep to start with anyway ?

                PM me if you need any direct advice !
                are you still hireing outworkers ?? i know its a long shot just thought i would ask

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                • #9
                  I've been an outworker and used one. Maybe this is a bit different. We are all costume makers. We are all self employed and know each other are above board viz a viz tax and insurance. When one of us is over laoded with orders and hears someone is slack we help each other out.
                  The person who hired me said she'd pay me so much a shirt. With the person I hired we sat down over a cup of tea and worked out an hourly rate that we were both happy with which in the end became so much a shirt, so much a petticoat etc.

                  Carolee is right that a contract should be written but we have been very casual and trusting doing everything on a gentle(wo)man's handshake. The fact that all our reputations depend on word of mouth might have something to do with this lack a daisical approach working.

                  AnnieAnna
                  www.anniethepedlar.com

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                  • #10
                    I've done out work and I would advise that you work out how long a task takes you to do and pay on a piece work basis -if you think you're really fast and it wouldn't be fair to expect someone else to do it as fast you can adjust the pay a little. They should be self-employed and I would advise you have a contract to cover your for things like copyright theft and (God forbid) any other theft and non-disclosure etc etc.

                    Piece work can be poorly paid but most people are prepared for low pay for the convenience of working in their own time and from their own home - and, like any skill, they will find ways to get faster at the tasks - thus upping their wage a little.

                    I would advise a little caution though - one thing about us crafters is that we tend to do things really well and take pride in the quality of our products - other people may not take such care and you might end up spending a lot of time checking their work and returning (or worse binning) some of their work - so you might need to work out if it's really cost effective for you and your business.

                    HTH

                    Jude
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