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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

Agency and temporary workers: agency legislation - provisions from 6 April 2014: supervision, direction or control example - drama teacher

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

Drama teacher

Frances is a qualified drama/music teacher with many years experience in this line of work. Previously, Frances has worked in schools on permanent contracts but she now prefers to work on an ad-hoc basis, providing her services at her discretion. Frances uses an employment business to obtain work.

An independent academy school contacts the employment business and asks them to supply an experienced drama teacher to work on a temporary contract to run for ten weeks. The job entails running an after school drama club. The employment business contact Frances about the engagement and, having satisfied the CRB checks, Frances is offered the engagement and she accepts.

Frances arrives at the school on her first day and meets the Head Mistress who tells her she wants someone who is enthusiastic, inspiring, and disciplined that enjoys working with children to run after school drama workshops, teaching the children acting skills with the emphasis being on “fun.” The workshops will run for one and a half hours each Tuesday from three-thirty pm until five pm, term time. Whilst Frances is told she has complete freedom to decide how to run the workshops, the Headmistress tells her it would be nice if, at the end of the ten weeks, the children could put on a performance for the school to demonstrate the skills they have learned from the workshops. Frances tells the Headmistress she is also a skilled music teacher and proposes to teach both acting and singing during the workshops, focusing on the children presenting a short musical at the end.

The workshops run for the full ten weeks, during which time Frances is accompanied throughout by one of the school’s teaching assistants. The teaching assistant actively participates in the workshops, but throughout Frances has complete control, deciding what the children will do during each workshop. During the workshops the children are taught acting, singing, applying stage make up, plus theatre/circus skills. At the end of the ten weeks the children successfully present a short musical to the school. Frances work is now complete and her engagement ends.

In this example, Frances has not been subject to (or to a right of) any form of supervision or direction as to the manner in which she provided her services. Although she was accompanied by a teaching assistant throughout, that person merely took part in the workshops, helping out Frances as required. The teaching assistant was not present in a supervisory capacity nor did she have any input in directing Frances or controlling what work Frances did and how she did that work. Whilst the Headmistress said she would like the children to be able to put on a short stage performance, this was not a stipulated requirement - it was purely a personal preference. Throughout her arrangement, Frances was able to choose what drama teaching she delivered and how that teaching would be done.

The agency legislation will not apply in this scenario. However, had Frances been required to follow a curriculum or other stipulated requirements which subjected Frances to (or to a right of) supervision, direction, or control as to the manner in which she provided her services, then the agency legislation would have applied to Frances’ arrangement, provided the other conditions of the legislation were also met.