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IR35 Guidance


Control over Services

The level of control exercised by the client over the services which are to be provided, as well as how they are provided, when they are provided, and where they are provided is highly important for determining IR35 status.

It is acceptable for a contractor to mutually agree to execute a particular task at a specific time and place with the client, but he should not be subject to any control or supervision from the client; it should be clear that the contractor is able to execute the work according to how they decide. Alternatively, an employee will probably be told where and when the services should be delivered; this is shown in the case of Morren v Swinton and Pendlebury Borough Council (1965).

Having said this, for control to be relevant, it needs to be a lot more than just shallow monitoring or reviewing of outputs. Except for when a contractor is “tied hand and foot” to the client, then the detrimental level of control is not present. [Chaplin v Australian Mutual Provident]



If a contractor is being controlled by their client, this will be made clear, as he will be regularly advised by a manager or supervisor as to what work needs to be completed, with regular monitoring of the progress of work. Where a client is able to move the contractor from one job to another as a result of a change in priority, there will be a right of control over what is to be done – this is very much indicative of employment. [Stagecraft Ltd v Minister of National Insurance (1965)]



Usually, a contract for services would state where the services are to be provided from, or may state whether a contractor may provide the services from a location of their own choice. In circumstances where the end client site is a secure location, for example a bank, it is understandable for security reasons that the contractor cannot provide the services from any other location. On the other hand, a contract of service (employment) will usually provide the client with the right to require a contractor to work at a specific place.



Control over when the contractor does the work also varies; an employee would be required to work set hours as set by the client, whereas a self-employed individual would be expected to arrange their hours to suit the task and their own convenience. It is acceptable for the client to state the maximum number of hours that are to be spent providing the services per week for budgetary reasons to the contractor, however the allocation of these hours should be left to the contractor’s discretion. A contractor should therefore not be obliged to adhere to the same working times as the client’s own employees.



Control over how the tasks are completed can be difficult. In the case of Morren v Swinton Borough Council, it was said:

“Clearly superintendence and control cannot be the decisive test when one is dealing with a professional man or man of some particular skill and experience. Instances of that have been given in the form of a master of a ship, an engine driver or a professional architect or, as in this case, a consulting engineer. In such cases, there can be no question of the employer telling him how to do the work, therefore the absence of control and direction in that sense can be of little, if any, use as a test.”

Contractors with a specialist skillset will most likely work with clients who are unable to source such a skillset in house. Therefore, it is important that throughout the duration of the engagement, the client is not able to direct or instruct you about how to undertake the work that you have been engaged to deliver. It should really be a case of the client relying upon the expertise of the contractor during the engagement. 


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About Us

Why Qdos?


Qdos Contractor are one of the leading providers of specialist contractor insurance services in the UK. Our online application process takes only a matter of minutes with all documentation issued instantly. Unlike many other brokers, we don’t hide our premiums until you've provided your details, as we are confident that our premiums, service and product are the best in the market. In addition, Qdos Contractor is one of the leading authorities on the IR35 legislation and have handled well over 1,500 IR35 enquiries on behalf of UK contractors.


Our History


Qdos began in 1988 as a tax consultancy business and has grown significantly over the past two decades, providing expert business services, products and advice. Over the years, Qdos has grown in both size and reputation as a trusted contractor insurance broker as well as an expert tax advisor. Our aim is to provide UK contractors with the assistance and service with IR35 issues they need as well as sustaining excellent quality and competitive premiums in the contractor insurance market.

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