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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 where work is done

One element of control is the right to control where the worker carries out the work.

A requirement within a contract for a worker to work at a specified place is more characteristic of a contract of employment, than one of self-employment. However, you should be careful about making a judgement concerning status where the nature of the work dictates where it should be carried out. The ability of theatrical producers to transfer a variety comedian to any of their theatres was a factor in the case of Stagecraft Ltd v Minister of National Insurance (SC288/52) where it was found that there was a contract of employment. Where a worker is required to work on the engager’s premises it is also more likely that there will be a right of control over other aspects, especially where the work is integrated into the daily routine of an office or factory. You should fully establish details regarding any other aspects of control under normal evidence gathering/fact-finding.

Where a worker can carry out work wherever he wishes, the contract is more likely to be a contract for services (self-employment). However, you should be careful about making a judgement concerning status where the nature of the work dictates where it should be carried out. In such cases, this factor is not likely to be of any significance in determining status.

You should bear in mind that control over the “where” work is carried out is a pointer in determining the overall degree of control being exercised over the worker.

Working practices are becoming more and more flexible and many employees now work from home. You should not accept that a worker is self-employed just because he or she does not work at the engager’s premises. This is particularly true where the engager covers any expenses that the worker incurs as a result of working out of the office.

See example ESM0523