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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Opinions on contracts: engagement covered by the legislation - model letter

The draft letter is provided for guidance and you should bear in mind that it may not be appropriate and will need adapting in particular cases. You should avoid leaving the enquirer with the impression that their particular queries have not been dealt with and that they are merely receiving a standard response. It is also important to ensure that anything you refer to in your reply is supported by the information you have been provided with.

Where you have been asked for a written opinion on a contract and your opinion is that the engagement would have been a contract of service if made directly between the client and the worker, then you may base your response on the draft reply below. If using this letter it is important to adapt it with regard to the particular case that you are dealing with.

“Dear…………………..

Thank you for your letter of…etc.

I have reviewed the relationship between (the client) and (the intermediary) and am of the opinion, based upon guidance from the courts in such matters, that had there been a contract between (the client) and (the worker) it would be considered to be a contract of service. As such, the engagement will be subject to the “intermediaries” legislation.

My reasons for coming to this conclusion are based upon the overall picture presented by the information that you have supplied me with. In particular, the following facts point clearly towards a contract of service.

 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………………………………………. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………………………………………. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………………………………………. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………………………………………. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………………………………………. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………………………………………. [Insert your explanation here along with a full account of the facts on which it is based. Your explanation can be as long as necessary.] …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..………….……………………………………………………………………………………………………. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..………….……………………………………………………………………………………………………. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..………….……………………………………………………………………………………………………. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..………….…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

My opinion assumes that the information you have provided to me accurately reflects the basis on which services are provided to (the client). If the contract is not fully acted upon in practice or there are other oral or implied conditions, which have not been presented to me, my opinion may be modified.

If you disagree with the contents of this letter, you should tell me why you think it is wrong and provide any further information and/or documentation which you think is relevant. I will consider what you have told me and advise you accordingly.”