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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

Guide to determining status: control - what, where, when and how

Where an engager has a right to exert control over a worker this is a significant pointer towards employment. The extent of the right of control will vary from employment to employment and can be exerted in different ways. This was considered in the case of Ready Mixed Concrete (South East) Ltd v Minister of Pensions and National Insurance (see ESM7030). When considering what constituted control, MacKenna J said

“Control includes the power of deciding the thing to be done, the way in which it shall be done, the means to be employed in doing it, the time when and the place where it shall be done.”

In the light of this judgement, the important elements that should be taken into account can be summarised as follows

  • control over what the worker has to do
  • control over where the worker carries out the work
  • control over when the worker carries out the work
  • control over how the worker carries out the work

When investigating a status case you will need to address all four elements of control, as laid down by Ready Mixed Concrete, when considering whether a sufficient degree of control is exercised over the workers..