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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

Opinions on contracts: standard agency contracts

The terms of contracts used by service company workers who obtain engagements through agencies tend to be of a standard form. Such contracts typically require the worker to:

  • work on the client’s premises
  • use the client’s equipment
  • work standard hours
  • be paid at an hourly rate, and
  • be subject to a right of control

In such cases, the opinion about the engagement is likely to be that it would be employment.

Where a worker:

  • is engaged on this type of contract for a period of one month or more, and
  • cannot demonstrate a recent history of work including engagements which have the characteristics of self-employment

then we will normally say that the engagement would have been employment and therefore be covered by the new rules. Where the contract is for less than a month, then, although the engagement may still have been one of employment, the status position should be considered on a case by case basis.