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Zero Hours Contracts - employment status & PAYE

Zero Hours Contracts - employment status & PAYE

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Does remuneration received under a zero hours contract comprise employment income?

If the employer has no duty to provide work, there appears to be no mutuality of obligation. This implies self employed status, with the responsibility to pay Class 2 NIC and submit SA returns.

In these circumstances, should the contractor should be paid gross?

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By DMGbus
09th Aug 2013 18:57

Carmichael vs National Power case

Power station tour guides were deemed to be self-employed specifically because of the lack of mutual obligations.

It is my understanding, however, that other engagers of labour most usually treat their zero hours workers as employees.    I can foresee a switched-on employer trying a "National Power" trick here sometime in the near future if and when when they become aware of the National Power case. 

One thing that could differentiate the National Power case from other zero hours workers is the degree of control exercised by the engager.   Tour guides I expect had a fair degree of freedom as to how they conducted their duties - something I find hard to envisage with say a supermarket where internal controls and corporate uniformity would most likely be very well regimented.  

 

 

 

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By WhichTyler
09th Aug 2013 19:56

I think not...

The judgement in Carmichael says 'I repeat that no issue arises as to their status when actually working as guides', i.e they are employees when they are working, but not in between times. And since they are paid for the period when they are working, they should be paid as employees. Also the in Carmichael what agreement there was, was pretty cursory ('I am pleased to note that you are agreeable to be employed by the C.E.G.B. at Blyth ‘A’ and ‘B’ power stations on a casual as required basis as a station guide').

 

Modern zero hours contracts have a lot more to them.

 

What Carmichael may have more effect on was the position in e.g. redundancy rights.

IANAL though, so happy to be corrected

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By finegana
09th Aug 2013 19:57

Our Associates

Thanks for the reference to case-law, we have self employed associates and our reputable firm of solicitors have pointed out the pitfalls in our arrangement as related to the test of employment set out by HMRC, but this definitely gives more weight to our position.  Shame that our Solicitor didn't know the case already....

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By gbuckell
12th Aug 2013 10:33

Trust House Forte

What about the Trust House Forte case? That involved the equivalent of zero hour contracts but pretty much everything else pointing to employment. Lack of mutuality of obligation decided in favour of self employment.

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