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Employment Tribunal 2020 Case Ruling – Employment Status

Employment Status – Referees

Are part-time football referees employees, whose match fees and other payments are subject to PAYE, or independent contractors?

In the case HMRC vs Professional Game Match Officials Limited, referees were engaged by Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) to officiate at matches primarily in Leagues 1 and 2, but also the Championship and FA Cup. However, these referees also undertook refereeing duties in their spare time alongside other full-time employment. HMRC issued assessments for PAYE and national insurance on the basis that PGMOL is the employer, which the PGML appealed to the First Tier Tribunal (FTT).

The FTT considered that the referees were highly motivated and would in practice make themselves available as much as possible to the extent that there was no need for legal obligation. It found that the contract between the referees and PGMOL was lacking ‘mutuality of obligation’. They found that engagements could be cancelled by PGMOL and referees could fail to attend without being in breach of contract. The overarching contracts were not contracts of service (i.e. employment) since they could withdraw an appointment at any time anytime and the referees supplied some of their own equipment at their own expense.

This is a reminder to consider the mutuality of obligation and extent of control when determining the employment status of an individual worker. It is necessary to consider whether the individual is engaged by the engager under a contract of services (employment) or a contract for services (self-employment).

The full judgment can be read at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb2b7b8d3bf7f5d456fde95/HMRC_v_PGMOL_.pdf

Employment Status – Drivers

Aslam & Ors v Uber

We await the decision for Aslam and others vs Uber when we find out the Supreme Court’s judgment on whether Uber drivers are workers and not self-employed.

At a time where employment status is critical for being able to claim support from the Government, it has never been more important to know whether your job is deemed one of a worker or a self-employed individual. If they are deemed workers, they will have protection under the Working Time Regulations, the National Minimum Wage Act, the Public Disclosure Act, and the Employment Rights Act (that gives the right to be accompanied at a disciplinary or grievance hearing); they will have protection against unlawful discrimination and have the right to be provided with a safe place and safe system of work.

HR, Health & Safety Support

HR Solutions are here to provide your business with support and advice on any employment related issues; to find out more contact us online or call us on 0844 324 5840.

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