Employment status continues to be a key issue in many businesses and will continue to be so specifically in relation to the changes which are due to come into force next year regarding IR35. This is evidenced by a recent decision whereby certain part-time football referees were held not to be employed by Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) and so income tax and national insurance contributions were not payable (in the case of Revenue and Customs v Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL)).
In that case, the referees officiated, predominantly, at football matches in League One and League Two. PGMOL argued that unlike in the Premier League, those referees in the lower divisions, were not directly employed.
When determining whether an individual is directly employed and therefore an employee, Tribunals typically look at whether there is the following:
In that case, the Tribunal concentrated on the test of #Mutuality of obligations:
On the basis that the Tribunal found that there was a lack of #Mutuality of obligations and therefore there was no employment status, the argument of whether there was #Control was not explored further. It was however noted that in relation to #Control that the referees could withdraw from a match at any point and referees often supplied their own equipment and had full responsibility for managing their own fitness and pre-match preparation.
In light of the recent changes which are due to come into force in relation to IR35 (which were meant to come into force earlier this year but have been delayed until next year), businesses should: (a) undertake a comprehensive risk assessment to establish their exposure to IR35 and what changes need to be made; (b) negotiate, if applicable, new arrangements with current contractors (and staffing agencies); and (c) ensure they have the necessary protection in place in relation to new arrangements.
Further information in relation to the changes due to come into force in relation to IR35 can be found in our updates – centrefield.law/news/private-sector-know-your-obligations-in-relation-to-ir35 and centrefield.law/news/extension-of-ir35-is-postponed.
If you would like more information on any of the points raised above or any advice in connection with the same, please contact Helen Littlewood (Senior Associate) –HelenLittlewood@centrefield.law – or call 0161 672 5450.
Please note the information contained in this briefing is intended as a general review of the subject featured and is not intended as specific legal advice.