Cross-Government Working Group on Employment Status

A group to review the rules for employment status across government and consider the possibility of moving towards agreed employment status principles.

Membership

Member associations
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
HM Treasury (HMT)
Office of Tax Simplification (OTS)

Terms of reference

Purpose

The Cross-Government Working Group on Employment Status (hereafter ‘the group’) will consider the potential to move to a more uniform set of tests on employment status across tax, employment rights and the welfare and social security system.

The group will:

  1. examine the viability of an agreed single cross-government status test (and therefore single definition)
  2. if viable, consider the feasibility of a cross-government statutory test, whether this would be beneficial and how it would work in practice

To do this, the group will need to:

  • Consider, and build on, the findings of:
    1. the report on employment status (March 2015) published by OTS
    2. the self-employment review: an independent report (February 2016) published by BIS
    3. boosting enterprise in more deprived communities (March 2016) published by DWP and BIS
  • examine evidence of problems with the current test for employment status, who is impacted and how
  • examine the advantages, risks and challenges of a single cross-government status test, and/or other options, and how this would work in practice
  • identify, monitor and analyse government policy proposals with potential impacts on employment status issues across tax, employment rights and the welfare and social security system, giving consideration to new ways of working
  • monitor developments in employment and tax law, including the outcomes of tribunal and court cases

Products

The group will produce a bi-annual update of their work to HMRC, HMT, DWP and BEIS ministers, and may report more frequently at ministerial request.

The group will examine all relevant issues and make recommendations to ministers on next steps and the future of the group by early 2017.

Composition

The group is chaired by the head of employment status at HMRC.

Standing group membership is comprised of representation on employment status policy from HMRC, HMT, BEIS, DWP and OTS.

The group will in addition co-opt officials leading or coordinating departmental reviews affecting employment status issues. In the first instance it is anticipated that the group will co-opt officials coordinating the BIS review of self-employment and the DWP review on supporting business in disadvantaged communities.

Meetings

The group will meet bi-monthly with additional meetings agreed at request of the standing membership.

Recommendations submitted to ministers in 2017 will include proposals for the long term future of the group and whether it should continue.

Meeting minutes

Minutes 19 October 2016

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Minutes 13 September 2016

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Minutes 20 July 2016

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Minutes 18 May 2016

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Contact details

alistair.mitchell1@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk