Industry sector: Consumer services

Furniture restorer: Wages


Money that you take from the business to cover your own personal living expenses is known as 'Drawings'. This should not be included here, but will be dealt with elsewhere in the cash flow.

It would not be unusual for an antique furniture restorer to work on his or her own. However, depending on the nature and scale of your restoration business you might decide you need employees to:

  • help you undertake the restoration/conservation work. You might employ craftsmen and women to undertake just one aspect of the restoration process, for example, French and traditional wax polishing, or they might work alongside you and be involved at every stage
  • handle retail sales, if applicable
  • discuss bespoke cabinet and furniture making commissions with customers
  • visit customers to give rough estimates and collect items
  • prepare detailed quotations and make valuations
  • prepare a written report for each item of furniture, setting out the restoration and conservation work undertaken
  • choose and order materials, receive deliveries
  • keep the business records and do other administrative jobs
  • clean and tidy the workshop and retail area
  • make deliveries

Bear in mind that any staff involved in restoration and conservation work must be well trained and produce high quality work so that your reputation for first class workmanship is not compromised.

The wages you pay your staff will depend to some extent on what is the going rate in your area. The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), which is carried out by the government, gives average weekly wages (national and regional) for a wide range of different types of job. The Survey is available online on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website.

Don't forget:

  • you could use a combination of full and part-time staff. Part-time work is often attractive to parents with children at school
  • the National Minimum Wage Act sets a minimum amount that you must pay your staff. Workers aged 25 and over receive a Living Wage premium on top of the standard National Minimum Wage
  • there is employment legislation that you should be aware of
  • you will have to pay employer's National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and you will have to operate PAYE in 'real time'. You may have to make employers' minimum contributions to an auto-enrolment pension scheme too

In the cash flow, just put the amounts you will actually pay to staff after you have deducted NICs and PAYE - you will show these separately. Include here the cost of staff pensions.