Employment status case
This case dated back to an enquiry that started in 2005 and concerned the employment status of flying instructors at a flying club – both for the purposes of PAYE and NIC.
At the hearing in February 2009 all of the evidence was reviewed in the context of past employment status decisions. There were many issues to consider across each of the commonly applied criteria including: the terms of the engagements, the written contracts, mutuality of obligations, the level of control exercised by the club, the method of payment, whether the instructors suffered any financial risk, the ability for instructors to profit from their work (beyond any ‘salary’), the right of substitution, the intentions of the parties, the extent to which the instructors were part of the ’employer’s’ organisation and the extent of any "employee style benefits".
The Commissioner also noted that in employment status cases, an ongoing relationship is not required. In effect that the status question is confined to what the relationship is when the worker is actually working for the ’employer’ regardless of what occurs between such engagements.
The Commissioner finally concluded that the flying instructors were in business on their own account and thus not employees for the purposes of PAYE and National Insurance.