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HMRC - Employment Status Indicator

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HMRC are now taking a closer look at the sports industry in relation to tax/NI contributions and contracts (casual etc) and swimming is one of their focus sports.

The Employment Status Indicator (ESI) tool enables you to check the employment status of an individual or group of workers - that is, whether they are employed or self-employed for tax, National Insurance contributions (NICs) or VAT purposes.

Who can use the tool

The ESI tool is helpful for anyone who takes on workers, such as employers and contractors. (The tool refers to anyone in this position as an engager.) Individual workers can also use the tool to check their employment status.

However, the tool can’t be used to check the employment status of some workers:

  • company directors and other individuals who hold office
  • agency workers
  • anyone providing services through an intermediary (sometimes referred to as IR35 arrangements)

How the tool works

The ESI tool is completely anonymous, so no personal details about the worker or engager are requested.

The tool will ask you a series of questions about the working relationship between worker and engager. If you have a contract setting out the terms of the relationship, it will be useful to have it to hand.

When you start using the tool, your enquiry will be assigned a ten digit ESI reference number (look for it in the top left of the screen). Write this down because you can use it to resume your session later if you don’t complete all the questions in one go. The tool automatically saves your progress when you close it, and you have seven days to continue from where you left off.