Preventing Illegal Working – "Employed or Self Employed" – It Matters

Disclaimer: This is in no way legal advice! It is simply an idea to approach for those family members who have a right of residence in the UK to approach when/if The Home Office refuse to accept this right.

As many people know, there is a Comprehensive Employers Guidance on preventing illegal working, that has been issued by The Home Office.  All of the media campaigns actually state that to employ a person could land you a £10,000 fine if that person turns out to be undocumented.  Numerous reports and updates on the Home Office News highlight how business owners are being fined as a result.

There is a SIMPLE workaround for this problem.  An EMPLOYER does not employ a SELF EMPLOYED person.  If you “sub-contract” your work to another individual, or “rent a chair” in a hair salon (for example) then The Home Office cannot actually fine the business owner.

On page 71, question 23 of the Comprehensive Employers Guidance highlights how you can tell if a person that you are looking to employ will be classed as someone who is‘self-employed’ or ‘an employee’.

I use the example of an hair dresser above, as this seems to be the prefered choice of Home Office raids.  The same works for many situations, IE: Delivery Drivers, Photographers, or Graphical Designers to name a few.

The Home Office may raise the concerns of whether the person who you are contracting your work to is registered with HMRC as a self-employed person.  This is not your problem.  You are requesting the services of another body.  Taxation on the part of the  self-employed contactor is something for them to sort out.

I raise this issue in knowing the following: A family member of an EEA national, or a Zambrano Carer does not legally have to register for a document certifying their right to reside and work.  However, if an employer employs such a person, they can still land potential fines of £10,000 per employee.

On deciding who is employed and self employed is still the decision of the “employer”.  However, HMRC have specific guidance on the matter which is available here: HMRC: Employed or Self-Employed.

It is useful for a business owner who needs additional help to use the HMRC’s Employment Status Indicator.  Also read the full guidance given by HMRC (in addition to the Home Office’s guidance).


One thought on “Preventing Illegal Working – "Employed or Self Employed" – It Matters”

  1. Note that since this post was first posted, legislation has changed, figures for fines have changed, and illegal working can be a “criminal offence”.

    Just be sure you are legally entitled to work before working 🙂

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