Hi thanks for your question.
What is it about sub-contracting that you would like to know? Do you want to set out your scenario a bit more for me?
I would like to understand how I can subcontract the staff on a regular basis. E.g. the jobs could be every day, so I need to have an arrangement where I am sending work to the staff regularly but at the same time I cannot guarantee the work.
I think, in order to make this suitable for contracitng it out, I would need to pay the cleaners a fixed fee per job rather than an hourly rate?
This contracting arrangement would be especially important in the early stages of my business when I do not have too much work to give to staff. I would consider employing Cleaners once demand had increased to make it worthwhile.
Would the cleaners be entitled to accept and reufuse work from you as they saw fit, and also, would they be under your control in the way in which they do the cleaning? I am trying to understand whether this would be an employment situation or a true contracting arranement.
They would be entitled to accept and refuse work, yes. I would like to give them a checklist for each cleaning job, to ensure that standards are maintained, but would need to re-consider this if it implied an employement situation.
I suppose a logical question is how do cleaning agencies operate in this regard?
I dont know how cleaning agencies work I'm afraid. Will you be providing them with equipment to do the cleaning work?
No they would be responsible for providing their own equipment and cleaning products
Okay, so really, you're just finding work for them and giving them the opportunity to do it using your branding and you take a cut?
Yes, I would want to basically differentiate in the domestic cleaning market by choosing highly skilled and background checked (such as CRB) cleaners, hopefully encouraging repeat busienss. I do not know how I would be able to protect myself from the cleaners working directly for the homeowners, however.
Well, protecting from direct engagement is a didderent issue, but essentially you would have to try and put very limited restrictive covenants in your contracts with them saying they couldn't do direct work for them for a period of time, which you should keep as limited as possible, i.e. within 3 months of of ending your arrangement with them if they were clients within the preceding 3 months or so. It has to be as limited as possible to be legally enforceable.
Also, though, you could prevent them working directly for people you introduce them to during the term of your agreement with them.
Thanks for the detail. Ok sounds like a viable option to write these covenants into the contracts. So generally speaking, it seems feasible to sub-contract the cleaning work out rather than employee the cleaners directly?
Yes, it does seem feasible to me to do this.
Ok great, thanks for the info.