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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

Particular occupations: entertainment industry - other theatrical non-performing workers

Non-performing theatrical staff include box-office staff, carpenters, and other technicians, stagehands, and dressers. They are usually engaged under contracts of employment (but ESM4126 below) and the theatre management should operate PAYE in the normal way. If Schedule E/employment income treatment and/or Class 1 NICs liability is disputed, see ESM0500 onwards. There is separate guidance for:

  • film and video workers - see ESM4101 onwards
  • television workers - see ESM4110 onwards.

Occasionally, the visiting manager or producer of a show takes over all or some of the staff and is responsible for paying them for the run of the show at that theatre. In such cases, try to arrange for the staff to be paid by the resident theatre manager on behalf of the visiting manager. This enables the original deductions working sheet to be used so no movement procedure is necessary. Representatives of the staff and management have agreed in principle to do this.