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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

Particular occupations: Guardians Ad Litem and Reporting Officers

Guardians Ad Litem and Reporting Officers (GALRO) are appointed by the Court under various Children Acts. GALRO are independent officers and responsible to the Court for the reports and recommendations they make. They are independent of all other parties involved in any particular case.

Position up to and including 1 April 2001

The GALRO contracts were with the relevant local authority from whom they received remuneration. They were not `office holders’. In addition, the system demanded that they remained independent of the local authority which paid them - with their responsibilities being set out in statutory regulations. By and large, GALROs were considered to be self-employed owing to the absence of the requisite degree of control necessary to establish that a contract of service existed.

Position from 2 April 2001

The Children and Family Court Advisory Service (CAFCASS) which is part of the Lord Chancellor’s Department, took over responsibility for the GALRO system from 2 April 2001. Under the revised arrangements, there are two separate pools of GALRO staff from which appointments are made with different terms and conditions. Approximately one quarter of the staff now work under what CAFCASS intend to be contracts of service. The contractual arrangements of the remaining majority will normally amount to self-employment, one of the conditions being that remuneration is based on a fixed fee system of bandings according to the complexity of the case.

It is unlikely that the income of any GALRO working under the second type of contract will be assessable under Schedule E/as employment income or subject to Class 1 NICs unless there are specific factors that suggest a contract of service exists in a particular case. If you are not sure whether a particular GALRO is an employee or self-employed, seek advice from the Employment Income Technical Helpline.