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In the light of recent high profile cases concerning the employment status of media personalities, HMRC have updated the Employment Status Manual (ESM). It now includes examples of different types of engagements and whether or not the individual would be considered to be employed in those circumstances.

HMRC's continued focus on individuals' performing roles through Personal Service Companies has seen renewed attention following the introduction in April 2021 of the Off-Payroll Working rules for those contracting with large or medium-sized companies in the private sector. This was an extension of the rules that have applied to those working for the Public sector since April 2017.

Employment status can be determined by a series of tests. The new ESM update takes these tests and applies them to a wide range of roles across the entertainment industry. The sheer number of examples indicates the complexity involved in this area.

Recent IR35 cases involving TV and radio personalities have had seemingly similar fact patterns but not necessarily the same results.

ESM4100 lists the index for the many roles and gives HMRC's view on whether they are more likely to be employed or not. Some roles, like certain behind camera workers, are automatically treated as self-employed, whereas the regular presenter of a daily weekday radio show is likely to be employed.

Useful guides on this topic

Employment status & detailed checklist
Why is it important to check my status? What tests should I use? What is the recent caselaw?

IR35: Kay Adams v Lorraine Kelly v Christa Ackroyd v Eamonn Holmes
What was the difference between the facts and circumstances of the recent IR35 decisions on radio and TV hosts, Kay Adams, Lorraine Kelly, Christa Ackroyd and Eamonn Holmes? All three have had their business arrangements tested before the First Tier Tribunal (FTT).

External link

ESM4100 Employment Status Manual - Particular Occupations: entertainment industry


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