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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

Supporting Guidance: employer compliance: guidance by subject: Employment Status & Intermediaries (ES&I): customer service - status - enquiry from the worker

If the enquiry results from contact by the worker the process outlined in the Worker flowchart  should be followed.

An opinion given to a worker will only be binding on the engager where both parties share a common understanding of the working terms and conditions. In other cases a view will be issued to the worker.

Where a worker asks for an opinion but there is insufficient information for the Employment Status Indicator (ESI) to provide one, the worker should be given details of the additional information which will need to be provided before an opinion/view can be given.

The worker should also be advised that it may be necessary for him to obtain additional information from the engager. Notify the worker of the ESI Reference Number, where appropriate, and advise them how to

  • self serve using the internet
  • post the information to the status officer or
  • contact the ESO with the information required.

Explain that it will not be necessary for them to visit the HMRC office and that where full information is submitted to the ESO a written confirmation will be sent setting out the status opinion.

Where only the worker has provided the information, the worker can only be provided with a ‘view’. However where sufficient information has also been provided by the engager an opinion can be issued to the worker and engager.

Where exceptionally ESI is not available and a full opinion needs to be given, the opinion letter must be signed by the Status Inspector.

A Customer Service enquiry relies upon the co-operation of the worker. If this co-operation ceases at any stage the enquiry should not be pursued.

In cases where the worker advises that the engager has declined to provide him with information the worker should be advised that the facts will be passed to RIS for consideration but that no further action can be taken at this stage.