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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

Particular occupations: School Inspectors - status

Registered Inspectors and other team members may be either employed or self-employed depending on the facts of a particular engagement. However, the tendering arrangements mean that no Registered Inspector or team member will be an employee of OFSTED for the purposes of the contract. Direct engagement of Inspectors as employees by OFSTED may very occasionally arise but OFSTED would then operate PAYE and account for Class 1 NICs in the normal way.

Sometimes a Registered Inspector or team member is engaged for a specific inspection by the tendering body, and there is no ongoing financial or contractual arrangement between the tendering body and the Inspector. Sometimes the engagement of a team member is on a similar basis, but the engagement is direct with the Registered Inspector.

These sort of arrangements give rise to the common problem of trying to evaluate the nature of a short-term contract involving a professional person as a worker. Where the facts of such an engagement are similar to the following, then it is likely that the worker will be self-employed, with Class 2/4 NICs liability.

  • Payment is computed on the basis of a fixed sum for completion of the Inspector’s work, rather than for example, payment computed by reference to an hourly rate for the hours actually worked
  • No additional expenses are paid, for example for the cost of travelling, accommodation or subsistence
  • No major facilities are provided by the engager to the Inspector, for example an office at the engager’s premises, word processing equipment, or secretarial assistance for pre-inspection preparation, and post-inspection reporting
  • Payment is only made to the Inspector on receipt of an invoice
  • VAT is charged and paid where appropriate
  • There is a common intention to create self-employed.

If status is disputed or in doubt, consider it in the normal way (see ESM0500onwards).

The same guidelines will also apply to similar engagements in Welsh schools, where the inspection system is controlled by the Office of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector (Wales) rather than OFSTED.