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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

Guide to determining status: exclusive services

The obligation to provide services exclusively for one master is a pointer towards employment. However, exclusive services clauses are not only found in contracts of employment. They may also appear in contracts for services. A self-employed individual running an agency for an insurance company may be precluded from selling any other company’s policies. Similarly an author may agree to write for only one publisher.

The absence of an obligation to provide exclusive services is not necessarily a pointer towards self-employment. A full-time worker could only exercise his/her right to work for others by working outside the normal working week and this may effectively preclude him/her from taking other jobs making an exclusive services requirement unnecessary.

In many cases an employer will have no objection if an employee works elsewhere during his own time. Part-time employees are not normally restricted to working for one employer; they can usually take other jobs.