Employing your spouse or civil partner

The benefits of transferring income to your spouse or civil partner.

At Blue Spire we can advise businesses in the Brighton area on the possible tax advantages of employing your spouse or civil partner in the firm. Here is an overview of the issues.

When considering the overall tax position of your family, it is worth considering employing your spouse or civil partner in your business.

It is likely to show a tax saving if your spouse or civil partner has unused personal allowances or pays tax at a lower rate than you do.

The following points must be borne in mind:

  • the level of salary must be commercially justifiable
  • the salary must actually be paid to your spouse or civil partner (and therefore affordable for your business)
  • the National Minimum Wage/National Living Wage regulations are likely to apply

As well as a salary, you may be able to pay contributions to a pension arrangement for your spouse or civil partner. These should not be taxable on your spouse or civil partner and should save you tax as a business expense.

All the above considerations apply equally to an unmarried partner or indeed to any other individual.

Administering a salary

If your spouse or civil partner has no other employment, a Starter Checklist (available from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/paye-starter-checklist) should be prepared with the Statement A ('This is my first job since last 6 April …') ticked. You may then pay up to the Lower Earnings Limit for employees' national insurance (£123 per week for 2024/25) without any further formality.

If you already have a PAYE scheme for other employees, or don’t mind setting up a scheme for your spouse or civil partner, you should consider the following points:

  • a salary between £123 and £242 per week will protect an entitlement to basic state pension and other contributory benefits without incurring an actual national insurance liability
  • a salary between £242 and £967 per week is subject to employee’s national insurance at 8%
  • the income tax position depends on your spouse or civil partner’s personal circumstances
  • the amount of salary exceeding £967 a week is subject to employee’s national insurance at 2%
  • a salary of £175 or more is subject to employer’s national insurance at 13.8%, without upper limit
  • employee’s (but not employer’s) national insurance contributions stop when the employee reaches State Pension age.

If you are in the Brighton area and are considering employing your spouse or civil partner in your business, Blue Spire can advise you of the tax advantages and other implications.


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Blue Spire Limited (Brighton) are Accountants in Brighton.

Contact Brighton Office

Tel: +44 (0)1273 739533
Fax: +44 (0)1273 732844
Email: brighton@bluespiregroup.com

Contact Chichester Office

Tel: +44 (0)1243 781234
Fax: +44 (0)1243 791770
Email: chichester@bluespiregroup.com

Brighton Address
5th Floor Intergen House, 65-67 Western Road, Hove, East Sussex BN3 2JQ

Chichester Address
Cawley Priory, South Pallant, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1SY

Blue Spire Limited is Registered to carry out audit work in the UK and Ireland and regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales C004152645. Professional indemnity insurance is provided by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Plc 9th Floor, One Plantation Place, 30 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 3BD and its territorial coverage is worldwide (excluding United States/Canada).
Blue Spire Financial Planning Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FSA register https://www.fca.org.uk/register reference 566257. This guidance and/or advice contained within this website is subject to the UK regulatory regime, and is therefore targeted at customers based in the UK