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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

Check Employment Status For Tax: Control

The ability of a hirer to control, or have the right to control, a worker can be a strong indicator towards employment.

CEST addresses the issue of control by looking at four distinct areas

  • control over what a worker does
  • control over how a worker carries out the work
  • control over when a worker carries out the work
  • control over where a worker carries out the work

CEST questions refer to ‘the task’, this means the role being contracted for and associated work that needs to be done under that contract. 

What is important is the existence of a right of control over the four areas. That right need not be exercised in practise. For a worker to be employed, the hirer must have a right to exert a sufficient degree of control over the individual.

The first place to look to establish the existence of a right of control over the worker will be the written terms under which the hirer is contracting for the workers services. Consideration of working practices may also assist you.

The right of control can include things like the hirer having manuals, guidance, policies or procedures which a worker is required to comply with.  Does the hirer have a hierarchy in which managers plan, supervise and review work?  Is the worker subject to this hierarchy? This could demonstrate control.