HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

ESM0551 - Guide to determining status: personal factors (effect of Lorimer on short term engagements)

We believe the Lorimer decision will have particular relevance to engagements where:

  • the worker provides similar services to many engagers; and
  • there is a mutual intention not to create employment; and
  • the worker has a business-like approach to obtaining and organising his/her engagements and incurs expenditure in this area of a type not normally associated with employment (for example provision of office accommodation, office equipment, etc.).

In addition some of the following pointers may be present although their absence would not inevitably mean employment:

  • the worker has many short-term engagements perhaps lasting a matter of days rather than weeks
  • the worker is providing professional services or services requiring the exercise of rare skill and judgement
  • the worker is engaged for a specific task rather than being at the general disposal of the engager
  • as a result of the number of different engagers the worker incurs expenditure travelling to various workplaces - similar in nature to ‘home to work’ travel but considerable in amount when compared to the level of expenditure that is likely to be incurred by an employee who resides close to his/her work place.
  • the worker bears a greater financial risk than an employee because payment is made after the payer has been invoiced, exposing the worker to the risk of delayed payment and bad debt
  • the extent to which the worker is able to influence the rate of pay is greater than is normally the case in employment situations, for example evidence of tendering.