HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

ESM2064 - Agency and temporary workers: agency legislation - provisions from 6 April 2014: supervision, direction or control example - domestic helper

Part 2, Chapter 7 Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003, Part 2, Chapter 7, section 44(2)(a)

Social Security (Categorisation of Earners) Regulations 1978, Schedule 1, Part 1, paragraph 2

Domestic helper

Claire is a qualified domestic helper whose work consists of undertaking general household duties for elderly persons in their own homes and ensuring they are properly cared for. Claire has done this type of work for many years and she obtains this work via an employment business, which provides her with regular offers of work that she can accept or decline.

An independent Care Provider contacts Claire’s employment business and asks them to supply a qualified and experienced domestic helper for the next three months, to visit numerous elderly clients. Claire is offered the engagement and she accepts. The Care Provider supply Claire with her identification badge and tell Claire she will start work in two days time, before which she will be e-mailed a schedule containing the names and addresses of her customers and the allotted time slots for each visit.

That schedule dictates the duration of each home visit is one hour per customer, although the Care Provider tells Claire this is flexible, depending on each customer’s needs. The Care Provider also tells Claire the only requirements being placed upon her are that (1) she is polite and courteous to the customers, (2) she contacts the Care Provider should she have any concerns for a customer’s welfare, (3) she completes all of the visits contained on her daily schedule, and (4) should any of those visits overrun by more than twenty minutes, she phones the Care Provider so they can inform Claire’s remaining customers that she is running late.

Claire starts work and visits the customers in accordance with her schedule provided. Being vastly experienced in domestic cleaning, Claire does not need to be told how to do her work by anyone and Claire is aware from the outset that there is no intention that anybody will be present to supervise her or direct her in her work- and this never happens in practice. Claire is efficient in her work and tends to each customers general needs in accordance with their requirements, cleaning and tidying their homes on time as required and then departing to visit the next customer on her schedule. Claire never gets contacted by the Care Provider whilst undertaking her visits, nor does Claire or the Care Provider ever expect there will be any need for them to contact Claire. Claire completes her engagement after the three months.

In this scenario, Claire is fully skilled in her work and does not require anyone to tell her what duties she must perform and how they should be done. The Care Provider does not dictate how Claire does her work; neither will they change the order in which she visits the customers (except in emergencies). Claire does not have to report back to the Care Provider after each visit, as she is trusted to complete each visit as per her schedule.

Claire is not subject to (or to a right of) supervision, direction, or control as to the manner in which she provides her services by anyone when she provides her services. Whilst Claire may have her own set order in which she usually undertakes her work, she is adaptable and can change that order if the customer requests this. That will not amount to Claire being subject to supervision, direction, or control by the customer. The Agency Legislation will not apply to this scenario.