Industry sector:

Chinese herbalist: 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.

You may be planning to work on your own, but if you become very busy, or want to expand the range of treatments you offer, you may decide that you need some employees.

Before you can make an estimate of the wages you will pay each month to your employees you will need to identify the work that must be done and how many people will be needed to do it.

Staff duties

You may need staff to:

  • work alongside you, offering herbal treatments or other therapies
  • dispense the herbal medicines you prescribe
  • monitor and order herbs and prepared remedies as necessary, receive deliveries
  • provide any other therapies you plan to offer
  • act as interpreter, if necessary
  • answer the phone
  • make appointments
  • organise and maintain patient records
  • invoice patients and collect fees
  • keep the consulting rooms clean and tidy
  • keep the business records

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. You should also include here the cost of staff pensions.