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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Guide to determining status: control over what is done - examples

Example 1

Painter A is taken on by a company which has a contract to decorate the interior of an office block which is undergoing an extensive programme of refurbishment. The worker has been taken on as a painter and his contract with the company is to provide painting services as directed. During the first week the worker paints rooms on the ground floor of the building. The company switches Painter A to another site during the second week where it has another contract. In the third week Painter A is told to return to the original office building where decorating work can now start on the second floor. In this case the engager has control over what the worker does at any particular time. This is a pointer towards employment.

Example 2

Painter B is taken on by the same company with the contract to decorate the office block. He contracts with the company to paint all of the offices on the third floor. The work is to be completed within 3 weeks. It is up to Painter B to decide what work he is going to do in order to fulfil this contract and the company cannot tell him to stop and paint another part of the building instead. In this case there is no control over what is to be done which points to self-employment.

Example 3

Painter C is the third worker to be taken on to paint the office block. He contracts with the company to paint all of the offices on the fourth floor. The work is to be completed within 3 weeks. 2 weeks into the job the company asks him to paint part of the fifth floor, which Painter C agrees to do but for extra money.

Because the original contract was specifically to paint the fourth floor, the company did not have the right to instruct Painter C to carry out this additional work. Instead, Painter C has voluntarily agreed to undertake the additional work for an additional fee under a new and separate contract. The original contract to paint the fourth floor is still effective and he must complete that work within the agreed time scale. Again, the company has no control over what is to be done and the contractual arrangements point towards self-employment.