I work as a freelancer with a large training organisation. When I was describing my role to a family member they queried whether this was actually freelancing.
For example, whilst I am classed as self employed and paid for the pieces of work I complete, I have to attend mandatory training, the quality of my work is assessed and graded (although the grades are not made explicit unless they fall beneath an acceptable standard), CPD has to be completed and the evidence submitted to the Quality Team and there is a substantial amount of micromanagement. In fact, there seems to be very little difference between the nature and requirements of this role and the role I performed as an employee with other organisations, except that I have no contract of employment, pay my own tax and receive no sickness or holiday pay.
I suppose I know that this is not what I expected from a self employed role, but is this the norm now for 'freelancing' in training and education?
Check the CEST tool on the HMRC website for guidance It does sound like Employment to me though New rules (IR35) were due to come in from April which would put the onus on Employers not employees to prove status and face sanctions if they got it wrong but these have been postponed due to Covid
Are you a sole trader or working through a ltd company? If the latter then IR35 still needs to be considered (if you use dividends). I would seek specialist advice if you’re concerned about IR35, as it can be complex. Can you provide a substitute? The micromanagement does sound like direction & control from the client which is a pointer to employment, as well as having to attend their training rather than fund this yourself.
I agree There was quite a high profile case (in Contractor circles anyway) where HMRC won and the Contractor had to pay a large tax bill. It hinged on client control and direction, even though the client hadn’t given much direction because the Contract allowed for it the Court deemed it to be inside IR35.
Thank you. This is very interesting. The status (freelance/employed) has always puzzled me, but there has a been new management and restructuring and, since then, more mandatory meetings, a greater level of performance monitoring and a tendency to address everyone, as 'the team'. There is certainly a great deal of client control and direction.