Work advice please for an artisanal gardener-dry stone waller

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  • Bonsoir a tous (evening all), I am hoping to come over to the uk in a month or so to get down to west wales to visit my mum and help her sort out a few things for when her time comes (prey it not be for a long time). I want to spend a bit of time with her as I do not get over to britain often and an extended visit is long overdue and needed to help her with a few things that she would like me to take care of,as well as some nice mum and son time.


    I will probably spend a few weeks or maybe a tad more with her then was hoping to (finances allowing) head off upto scotland ( my fathers country ) and the isle of lewis and check out the cavendish stones and the local countryside up there in the remote parts of the british isles,keeping me happy by offering me the sort of space around me that I am used to here in france.


    Anyhow,getting to the point - I may well en route fancy picking up some work by knocking on a castle door or two to offer my services and to sell myself and was wondering how I go about doing so legally. I have no doubts in my ability to do almost all landscape gardening jobs or repair or build any ancient dry stone walls or to sell my capabilities and good charecter,but must admit to not knowing a thing about working in the uk as I have hardly spent any time there in the last couple of decades. The last thing I want is to be grassed on to the boys in blue for not being registered,if that is what I must be !


    Can I just go and knock on doors and introduce and sell myself and my services and start doing jobs straight away? Do I need to go to the tax office and set up a self employed account or something? Can I earn upto a certain amount before having to bother having to go and make a fiscal declaration? I would love to know the answers to these questions and any others that those of you in the know would expect me to be asking.
    I know that some may say,just go and do it on the black and my answer would be " that would be a foolish thing for me to consider and even more fooloish to talk about such illegal practices on a public forum " !!


    Any professional advice with regards to me maybe doing this and picking up a bit of work on my travels would be much appreciated. I would only be into getting work in a professional capacity and not anything else. I know what I am good at and where my talents can make me good money. picking thistles or chasing haggis around hill slopes does not interest me,or not for money anyway !!
    It is just an idea at the moment,but as an experienced drifter,I like to look at all the posibilities and weigh up the consequences in advance to help create a great reality and future.
    I look forward to and thank you in advance for your responses.


    Love and light


    fly xx

  • You can work in another EU country for ,I think, 1 day shy of 6 months before being forced to register for tax purposes in that country, I am assuming you are an artisan and legal in France.


    Registering as self employed in the UK is easy peasy if not, and as long as you keep your income low in any Calendar year is pretty cheap too.


    Cheque de travail won't work in the Uk, just if you are registered with the chamber de commerce or the chamber de metier.


    Most Brits do not understand at all EU rules and regs ( voting for Brexit is proof) so they often ask for proof you are allowed to work in the uk, NI number will do if you can remember it, if not just call, they can find them quick enough and give it to you over the phone.

  • I am completely off grid at the moment and not registered anywhere or as anything. I have worked in france through a system set up for sans domicile fixe ( no fixed abode ) travellers for the last fifteen years that is part of the recepisse de consignation scheme,so on paper I am itinerant welsh person who lives at my mums address in wales and am a tourist in france. In the main part,I do not exist :D


    All my van legalities are done in the uk and I am playing upon grey area's within the system to get by with that,which work well enough as I have been stopped by the flic a few times and all is well.


    When I go over,it will be as a uk resident :insane:

  • One other thing, Fly, is that if you are legally self-employed as a tradesperson, you will probably need some kind of public liability insurance. This isn't always asked for by casual employers, but the more formal sort (Estates, Trusts, etc) are more likely to.
    Costs vary according to the sort of work you do, and how and where you'll be doing it.

  • The chances are that I will only be after a few weeks work if my funds dwindle too far,as I will not be asking the government for anything as I love my own independence too much and dont believe that the uk tax payer should fund my travels when I have not even been in the country much since the nineties.


    I still remember my N I number,who do i go to see to register and talk to about being self employed and getting public liability?


    I would like to find out if I can get the latter just for that short time and not have to take a years policy out too.

  • Toby,if I get over as early as I said then it would be good to catch up when I am in the area. If not and you are heading through France,I shall be in Brittany until then. I hope I get to meet up with you guys in one of these celtic strongholds :D

  • I can't speak for working in Scotland or Wales but a few years ago several County Councils in the Midlands, Cambridgeshire for one, started doing spot checks on self-employed odd/jobs personnel. Gardeners, tree surgeons, general itinerary trades of a nature to be peddling their business to the public in a public area. Whether this actually takes place or was designed to scare those who let's say 'work off radar' I don't know. They check to see if the person is registered with the tax office (not claiming benefits) and has business or public liability insurance as proof of their legitimacy. Now the chance of this happening to you is one in a million plus. But I will tell you what I understand to be the case.


    If you are registered for business or tax in any one EU Country, I would advise that you make your enquiry there in that Country. They will know what your status is. Trying to get a one to one conversation with a tax office adviser/employee in the UK is now near on impossible due to the closure of most District/County wide tax offices. Most Tax dealing are now done online or over the phone and if registered, each person gets a unique personal reference/ User ID number by which contact can be made online or over the phone.
    The £11,000 plus personal tax allowance should be in force by April here in the UK.


    I assume you already have public liabilty insurance or equivalent? Find out if this covers you for work in the UK. If it is covering you for several Countries now it may already cover you for working in the UK until Brexit.


    You warm the hearts of our UK hippy sisters and mothers with your outward caring for your mother, brothers, sisters, animals, planet and way of life. Be warned. British/Welsh and Scottish women want men like you. You may get more than you bargained for If you tread the sods of the UK for too long when you next visit.

  • I can't speak for working in Scotland or Wales but a few years ago several County Councils in the Midlands, Cambridgeshire for one, started doing spot checks on self-employed odd/jobs personnel. Gardeners, tree surgeons, general itinerary trades of a nature to be peddling their business to the public in a public area. Whether this actually takes place or was designed to scare those who let's say 'work off radar' I don't know. They check to see if the person is registered with the tax office (not claiming benefits) and has business or public liability insurance as proof of their legitimacy. Now the chance of this happening to you is one in a million plus. But I will tell you what I understand to be the case.


    To be frank, it is one in a million he hasn't been done in France for working black for so long, actually he would be fine, they go after those employing cash workers, so his customers would get into serious trouble with the gendarmes, something I imagine the average expat not being happy about, inspections are pretty common. I used to get one every 2 or 3 years even though my artisan number was on the side of my truck. Why the CESU exists, to protect clients from getting into trouble, but it still allows for casual odd jobbing style work.

  • To be frank, it is one in a million he hasn't been done in France for working black for so long, actually he would be fine, they go after those employing cash workers, so his customers would get into serious trouble with the gendarmes, something I imagine the average expat not being happy about, inspections are pretty common. I used to get one every 2 or 3 years even though my artisan number was on the side of my truck. Why the CESU exists, to protect clients from getting into trouble, but it still allows for casual odd jobbing style work.


    i was under the impression fly would only work 'above board in any EU Country if his concerns were enough to make him post this thread about doing a bit of needs must work whilst over here on holiday. Maybe I just presumed that's how he operated his business, above board.


    Last thing he needs to be doing his screwing himself up making waves in France then by enquiring? If that's the case. Hopefully he will see your post before he does make any phone calls.


    Without getting paid in cash, it's hard not to leave a paper trail for anyone running a business here in the UK. Window cleaners, gardeners would hate going the way of itinerant scrap metal dealers here in the UK. Registered, photographed, licensed and no cash payments.

  • Hi as long as you have got a bank account just knock on those doors ,invoice them and get them to pay you bacs,and if you show them loads of pics of work you have done you should pick up few jobs public liability is not a legal requirement but is advisable and lots of firms do pay monthly policies! Good luck with your calling mark

  • I have just caught up with this thread and am shocked to see what LV has written about me on a public forum. I have not been working on the black all these years in france and resent seeing that accusation wrote in public,as it could certainly tarnish my good reputation and get me into trouble.
    I think she has jumped the gun and made that awful mistake of assuming something before knowing the facts,which happens a lot here by other expats who have not worked through the same system I have used as an itinerant foreign worker.It is mostly the gypsy travellers that use this scheme and albeit not available in all regions now as they are fading it out,it still exists if you are already registered through it.


    When I said that I am off grid at the moment,that is because I have just stopped paying into the tax system that I have been using for many years as I am preparing to leave the country for a while and do not need another few months ticket for working in france when I will not be here. I think that is where the assumption must of been made.!!
    Thanks A W for stepping in there :thumbup:


    Treeboy,that all sounds positive,but I must admit to not knowing what "bacs" are !! Please pardon my ignorance :insane:


    Thank you everyone else too for your imput,it is all much appreciated as I like to create as stress free travels as possible when dealing with the system and the seven p,s often pay dividends.


    Seven p,s= perfect and proper planning prevents piss poor performance


    Am looking forward to spending a bit of time in the uk again,especially seeing my mum who I dont get to see often enough and the pembrokeshire coast for some lovely walks and hopefully a nice travel around the north west highlands and coast of scotland. Hopefully I will get to meet up with some of you lovely people too whilst I am en route.


    Love and light


    fly xx

  • So black then, fine. I don't care. I am friends with some gypsies, I looked into there system a long time ago and it was basically illegal for me, even they often don't bother. I would never nowadays work on site for a customer without being legit because of the risks, inspections and controls are common.


    I have been an artisan on and off for decades under a variety of tax regimens, micro, real simplifie, real normal, SARL etc, employed by both big and small companies, as well as commercant. And black too at various times for various reasons. Usually brushing the law as I often am not registered for the amount of work am doing ( 40% rule)


    I know what I or others get away with, it is the rule of thumb everyone stretches the rules to breaking point as they are so onerous and expensive.


    I stand by my comments 100%. And I do not look down upon anyone doing that as long as customers are aware of the risks.

  • I have worked legally in france for many years and have paid and still do pay my taxes and the fact that you are still insisting that it is black, in my eyes makes you into a mean person for doing so. All it takes is a seed of doubt in a potentail clients mind and they may decide to not employ me based on your false accusations. please think before you post !


    The only way that the recepisse de consignation set up could of been illegal for you was if you had an address or did not register as sdf (no fixed abode) within the area you wanted to work in.
    Just because you did not find out how to do it legally,please dont judge my situation to be the same.


    Rather than paint a negative picture of me publically,why did you not just ask me how it worked and we could of discussed it via email,rather than you tainting my very good and hard worked for reputation.



    If anyone else is visiting a relative office to the subject of this thread and have a moment,could you please mention the fact that you have a friend who is a tradesperson who is thinking of travelling up country and ask them what they think the best way for me to pick up work is with regards to legality.


    Thanks in advance xx