This will be fun!
As it stands - a clerk cannot be SE.
That’s just the way it is. (As is illustrated in HMRC guidance above and previously referenced HMRC BIM)
Why it is that way is because HMRC consider a company officer (in this case a proper officer or responsible financial officer - both ordinarily, but not mandatory, as being parts of a clerks role) exclude the PO & RFO from clerk duties and they are no longer an office holder and there is no barrier to being SE.
Now who do you think HMRC consulted when considering what a clerks role entails?
Maybe the Football Association? No?
Maybe the Automobile Association? No?
Maybe the Federation of Small Business? No?
(I could go on all day, but back in the “real world” who thinks they actually consulted the National Association of Local Councils?)
Everybody EXCEPT DBW apparently );0)
And what does everybody think NALC told HMRC?
They told them that the clerks role ordinarily (possibly / probably always) includes PO & RFO and why would HMRC disbelieve them?
But as we know, the clerk role doesn’t HAVE to include PO & RFO and if it didn’t then there would be no reason why the basic admin functions of clerk could NOT be delivered by a SE person.
In fact, just imagine how much easier and cheaper it would be for the TAXPAYER if they didn’t have all of the liabilities of employee management.
I’d also wager the disproportionate amount of complaints and threats of Ind Trib would fall off a cliff if incompetence was met with non renewal of contract rather than the protectionist cocoon of civil service T&Cs.
How’s that for “real world” DBW ):0)
And the other point about claiming more hours than are available to work across 9 (9!) councils!! That has “issues” written all over it and screams inefficient / ineffective / potentially inappropriate employment terms and possible fraudulent (at the very least irresponsible until proven otherwise) practice. Every one of those 9 councils bears a degree of responsibility for checking / affirming that there is nothing amiss here.
As it stands - your clerk CANNOT BE SE. No ifs, no buts, they cannot.
If they really are employed across 9 councils you really need to have a proper good look at that situation - not least of which the degree of business continuity risk having 1 individual spread across such a swath of local government.