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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

Guide to determining status: control over how work is done - examples

Example 1

Worker A is engaged as a market researcher. Detailed instructions are provided on how to carry out the duties. These include instructions on who to interview, what questions to ask, what order to ask those questions and how to ask those questions amongst others. A is given little flexibility over how to carry out the job. This is a strong pointer towards employment.

Example 2

Worker B is engaged as a plasterer. The contract stipulates that B is to plaster 4 houses in a good and workmanlike manner. Payment will only be made if work is carried out to a satisfactory standard. The contractor makes a quality control check but has no right of control over how B completes the contract. This lack of control is a mild pointer towards self-employment.

Example 3

Worker C is engaged as an airline pilot. The airline for which C works determines the flight schedule. However, once on board the plane C is in charge of the aircraft and complete responsibility for it and the safety of all passengers. As a skilled pilot C is an “expert” in that field. In this context the absence of control is of little use in determining status and you need to look at other factors.