Beaters and pickers up, employed or self-employed?

The following is an extract from the HMRC web site.

 In order to answer this question it is necessary to determine whether the person works under a contract of service (employees) or under a contract for services (self-employed, independent contractor). For tax and NICs purposes, there is no statutory definition of a contract of service or of a contract for services. What the parties call their relationship, or what they consider it to be, is not conclusive. It is the reality of the relationship that matters.

In order to determine the nature of a contract, it is necessary to apply common law principles. The courts have, over the years, laid down some factors and tests that are relevant.

Remember, as the HMRC clearly state, employment status is not a matter of choice; it is a matter of fact. More information here:

Information on tax for casual and part time work can be found  on the HMRC website here.

It is worth remembering that the picker-up buys his own dogs and is responsible for their ‘running costs’ and so on.

The pickers-up will always be the last shoot workers to return to base because they have to work until they are satisfied that the ground has been properly cleared of birds. The job must be done properly irrespective of how long it takes whereas a beater is finished once he emerges from the end of the drive.

The pickers-up provides significant tools and equipment that are fundamental for their work; the dogs provided by the picker pickers-up is are fundamental to his their work.

BASC cannot advise individuals how they conduct their tax affairs and the only guidance we can offer is as per the HMRC guidelines.

NB if individuals wish to be treated as self employed the ’employer’ must still record individuals names, addresses, dates and amounts of payments, otherwise they could find themselves liable personally for taxes not collected at source, together with penalties.

ALL payments to individuals need to be recorded and a return made to HMRC using the Real Time Information (RTI) system unless HMRC has formally exempted you from RTI in which case a form P38A has to be completed by the employer at the end of the tax year. For further information please go to the HMRC web site

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