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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

Supporting Guidance: employer compliance: guidance by subject: Employment Status & Intermediaries (ES&I): dealing with request for advice from local compliance

When a request for advice is received the Employment Status & Intermediaries (ES&I) will

  • check that all of the information is in the referral
  • check that the compliance officer making the referral has made every possible attempt to resolve the query

Any referrals that have been made too early or without sufficient work being undertaken by the referring officer will be returned via the appropriate Manager. Where insufficient information has been provided the ES&I will provide advice on the further information required.

Once the request is accepted by the ES&I the case should be

  • registered on the office spreadsheet naming the team member responsible for co-ordinating the response and
  • passed to the appropriate team member.

The Employer Technical Higher Officer (ETHO) or Status Inspector (SI) will

  • consider the query and
  • provide the compliance officer with written or verbal advice.

The ES&I will aim to provide advice within 15 working days to enable the case to be progressed promptly. Where exceptionally this is not possible the ES&I will provide an interim response to the compliance officer explaining what action is being taken and when a full reply will be provided.

In complex cases it may be necessary for the ETHO or SI to accompany the compliance officer to a meeting only in a purely advisory capacity and only where necessary.

In these circumstances it is important to ensure that

  • the employer or his authorised representative is aware of the involvement of the ES&I
  • ES&I resolves the issue as soon as possible and
  • regular updates are provided to the compliance officer and employer or representative.

Where the query is complex and cannot be resolved within the ES&I the ETHO or SI will seek further advice from

  • the PSN Helpline
  • the ES&I manager and if necessary the Senior Technical Resource Team (STRT) Grade 7 or Grade 6.
  • submit cases formally to PSN via STRT.