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0 votes
We have had two locum clerks recently and are advertising for a permanent clerk. One locum clerk was put on the payroll but the other declared herself self employed. The one who declared herself self employed will not do the financial side for us and only clerks the meeting. The other one has now agreed to be our financial officer. At a recent meeting the self employed clerk stated it wasn't up to the council/councillors to check on someone's status. We are unlikely to get a new clerk as it is known that a settlement was paid to our previous clerk so we could have that locum clerk for many, many months. I don't want the council to fall foul of HMRC so can a locum clerk be legally paid by being self employed?
by (300 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
Its all in the description "locum" someone who stands in on a temporary basis. There for it is quite acceptable to have them invoice the PC for their services rendered as a self employed person. Of course the PC will need to do their due diligence checks and ensure that the charge basis are approved by the council as with employing any other "contractor"
by (27.2k points)
Mentorman I am interested in that the PC should do due diligence checks on contractors. Please could you indicate what sort of checks should be done as we have had a contractor was cutting the grass that I believed to be employed though the check on HMRC came back as non determined. He is no longer working for us but it would be useful to know what sort of checks we should do in the future. Some of our contractors give their insurances, others do not. What sort of documents should we be asking for?
Even the most basic of checks via our old friend the internet might flag up potential information which might assist with decision making as to the person/ company meets the councils standards.
First step is to have a list of criteria of the council which can be presented to the applicant to answer.
Second step is to verify that information. Check with a companies house free search which can then be cross referenced by a check of directors( beware of a person who is a director of 30 companies of which 29 have ceased trading in the last year!). A check of WOIS ( handles domain registration) will yield some information regarding any website they may have ( when it was set up when it expires who owns it ( not always available). Thirdly a google search for the person concerned may be useful to pick up their trail left on the internet and also on Linkedin.
The last one of course is seeking local information on their performance in their work ( personal or business). Nothing so dis-concerting when seeking help with accounts to find that happy chappie applying is not a qualified accountant.

Most importantly is that all this  basic stuff can be done at no cost to the budget (Good fiscal prudence move!)
0 votes
The answer is no they can’t but if the amounts are small and you appoint a new permanent Clerk on PAYE soon you will most probably get away with it
The employer ie the Parish Council is responsible for the status of the Clerk the Clerk has no say in it at all
by (11.6k points)
0 votes
I find myself somewhere in between Jules and Mentorman on this point.

A person appointed as an 'office' holder (RFO, PO in this example) for an organisation cannot be self employed according to current guidance.

But if, as is indicated in the OP, the locum is simply providing secretarial services, and they satisfy all of the other requirements of self employment status, then perhaps they 'could' be self employed - if that is what the council are content with.  If it is, then the (self employed) employee should b invited to supply their HMRC UTR and that would satisfy due diligence that the council had taken reasonable steps to ensure correct SE status.  There is also an HMRC employment status assessment tool which helps in this regard.

Either way, the point is that the EMPLOYER dictates the terms of the employment NOT the employee.

Life would be a goof deal simpler - and efficiency a great deal better - if clerks were all SE and paid according to performance.
by (21.8k points)
Of course it might be worth looking at who has a "service" to PC's to supply locum clerks. Give you a clue( county associations who pass on the PC subs cut to someone called NALC)
I’ve always thought that there’s a gap in the market for an independent consultant to agree salary scales for Parish Councils as I’ve seen enough evidence to indicate  that some are being railroaded into paying excessive salaries

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