Self-employed or Employee?

January 14, 2020


The recent cases involving BBC, Uber, Deliveroo, Addison Lee and Pimlico Plumbers, where self-employed contractors have been deemed or thought to be employees, has brought this issue to the fore.


As a result of these cases many smaller employers have been left anxious about how they can avoid the problems these large companies have faced when they often genuinely cannot afford and do not truly employ staff.


In the BBC case the presenter has been held liable for tax in excess of £400,000 because the Courts considered her to be an employee of the BBC despite her being paid through a separate limited company.


This is a significant victory for HMRC as it is the first time in seven years they have won a claim related to IR35 – a tax law which aim to combat tax avoidance by workers who supply their services via an intermediary but are to all intents and purposes employees. These workers are known as “disguised employees”.


How would your business cope with a claim form a self-employed person who is classed as an employee?  Employment Tribunal look at each case on its own merits.


We will be organising a seminar in the next few weeks which will cover the potential risks employers can face by using false self-employment.  If you are interested in attending this seminar call us on 07375 097443 or e-mail

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