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Thread: One job, two different companies

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    One job, two different companies

    Hi there,

    I work a certain company, but the owners of this company also own another company. It is two separate companies and they are not subsidiaries of each other. There has been some restructuring and new shareholders appointed etc.

    Now a few of us is doing work for both companies, even though legally we are only employed by the one. What I would like to know is by law, must we get paid by the other company that we now also do work for and must we also be employed by them?

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    If the one company contracts your services to the other company, the challenges should disappear.

    The question got me thinking about the associated risks that would need to be covered though -

    1. What happens if there is an IOD claim while you're working for the company that isn't paying you?
    2. What is the chain of authority, responsibility, accountability etc?
    3. Are the owners and management of both entities aware of the arrangement?
    4. Might it be seen as profit shifting? (Not the employee's problem, mind you).

    Overall as the employee, it seems matters might prove more complex if you did have two separate employment contracts.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laetitia81 View Post
    Now a few of us is doing work for both companies, even though legally we are only employed by the one. What I would like to know is by law, must we get paid by the other company that we now also do work for and must we also be employed by them?
    1. It is fairly common for employees to do work for companies other than the one employing them. This is essentially what business to business services do and include accountants, electricians, IT techies, transporters, etc. The fact that both companies have similar shareholders might complicate matters for the owners in terms of tax and accounting, but I don't see why it would have any effect for an employee.

    2. If for some reason you did get paid by both companies, your existing company should be able to pay you less as you will now not be working full time for them. The end result would be you getting the same pay, just split between two payslips. It doesn't really make much sense, it just increases the admin required and duplicates many tasks.

    I would just advise you to ask you employee (the one that pays you now) to put in writing, who you report to and what your job description and expectations are. This will hopefully cover you in the event that you receive conflicting instructions from both companies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    If the one company contracts your services to the other company, the challenges should disappear.

    The question got me thinking about the associated risks that would need to be covered though -

    1. What happens if there is an IOD claim while you're working for the company that isn't paying you?
    I would imagine that they are always working for the company that pays them. If they are instructed by the employing company to do work for a client (shareholding should be irrelevant for an employee) then they should still be covered by the employer for an IOD. Outsourcing services is common.

    I think the employers and shareholders might have a few more complications when it comes to tax and accounting though. Issues like personal service providers and related companies start becoming things to be aware of.

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