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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50158
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I am a certified bookkeeper new company that runs several

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I am a certified bookkeeper for a new company that runs several kebab shops. The directors have told me that they want to employ their staff on a self-employed basis.
I spoke to an accountant regarding this and he said that it can’t be done.
My question is really in two parts
1 – would it be o.k. to have the staff as self employed
2 – why would the accountant say it ‘can’t be done’
Thank you for your assistance

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Have you been given any indication as to why it cannot be done?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No, all the accountant (he is not the companies accountant yet - and if I have my way he won't be - didn't like him) said was

'You won't get away with that - HMRC won't put up with that - I haven ever heard of anyone working in Kebab or Burger shops being self-employed'

It’s not the fact that they work in a kebab shop that would mean they cannot be self employed, it is how they are treated. Basically the employment status of someone is not determined by what you decide to call them – it is a factual matter dependent on several factors. So you cannot just call someone self employed and know that they are employed as such. It could be that factually they are an employee or a worker, regardless of hat you have labelled them as. If you Google the Employment Status Indicator it is a test which takes you through a series of questions to determine a person’s employment status – this is what a court or HMRC would look at when considering whether someone is an employee or self employed and it would not matter if you have decided to employ them as self employed, it I how they are treated which determines what their actual status is. So this is what the accountant may have been referring to. It is entirely possible to have elf employed staff working for you, but you must ensure that they are treated as such and that they are not actually employed as employees who are simply labelled as self employed for your own convenience.

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