Posted: 19/11/2012 at 16:38
Further thoughts on the price of a day's work.
Say your gardener wants to earn about the national average wage, which I believe is about £23,000 gross. Assuming he aims to work 40 hours a week and takes 4 weeks holiday plus a few bank holidays and odd days to go to the school play, etc. - he will work about 235 days a year, which looks like £100/day before tax. Or to put it in hourly terms, 1880 hours at just over £12/hour.
Now the downside.
He has to pay tax andNational Insurance on his profit. Until I get around to doing my accounts I can't remember how much N.I. is. 7 or 8%, I think. He also needs to find the running costs of a work vehicle, contributions to a private pension (check out with a provider what it would cost to give yourself even £5,000 a year in retirement, and remember, no employer contributions), buy tools (a power strimmer suitable for heavy work starts at around £300 - check costs of hedgecutter, mower, etc. - real ones, not toys), buy insurance - third party and his own health and accident. Then a whole lot of consumables - gloves and other personal equipment, office stuff............
Then start thinking about those 235 days. Just now, when the days are barely eight hours long, the weather's often rubbish, and many gardens are too wet to do anything with (and that's before it snows and freezes) that 40 hours a week starts to look insanely optimistic. So cash-flow will be tricky.
So he's got to work harder and longer when it is fit, and charge a lot more than the above figures to earn a reasonable bottom line. And it's not the sort of job where he fancies still working at that pace when he's 60+.
So don't be too surprised at the gardener's quote!