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Following this discussion through, can a council have a volunteer officer - RFO or PO?

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Does this give the same issues with insurance, privacy etc etc as a self employed officer?
related to an answer for: Clerk claiming to be self employed
by (350 points)

2 Answers

0 votes

It will be interesting to see how opinions and interpretations differ on this (If I were a betting man…)

The articles I believe provide the opportunities for voluntary unpaid Cllr delivery of PC ‘officer’ (probably better described as office holder roles - RFO / PO roles) are as follows:

LGA 72 Pt VII s112, 114 & 116

If a PC had suitably qualified, experienced (interesting again, you can (often have to) employ a clerk that is neither) and willing Cllr, I read nothing in those regs above which precludes a Cllr from holding an office role. 

If that were the case, then the major part of the HMRC definition of why a clerk must be PAYE (because they are an office holder) evaporates - and with it the myth that the clerk must be PAYE. 

Once that myth is busted then you open the door to the long overdue updating of the ‘clerk’ job description. 

Whereas it is already being done in larger town councils, the very existence of assistant clerk and the separation of the 3 distinctly different parts of the current clerk role (admin, RFO, PO) becomes achievable in smaller councils. 

It is widely acknowledged that the clerk role has changed massively over preceding decade, why has the employment model not changed with it?

There are basic clerical tasks akin to office admin  

There are legislative requirements akin to company Secretary. 

There are financial requirements akin to company accountant. 

To attempt to combine the 3 into 1 job description is illogical and results in low wages based upon the basic clerical task and an inability to effectively delivery the 2 subsequent constituent parts. 

Separate them out, allow Cllr (or other unpaid volunteer) to undertake parts 2 & or 3, engage basic clerical services on a SE basis. 

Imagine the cost saving!  That’s probably why there is no appetite for common sense. 

by (3.0k points)
0 votes

HMRC's definition of employed versus self employed (not specifically related to local government) is relevant.

by (5.7k points)
As is the ‘check employment status for tax’ (CEST tool)

I’ve just run the numbers for a clerk (if they were not an office holder) and guess what….

Also, HMRC ESM 4010 Barristers clerks and ESM 4295 school governors clerk are relevant - albeit appearing to be contradictory

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