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Can a Parish Council Clerk be self-employed?

+1 vote
I noticed that on the Internal Audit 2016/2017, which was only published 13/12/2017, that in

Section 7 Payroll Control - Has PAYE/NIC been properly operated by Council as an employer

The answer is "Clerk is self employed".

From everything I've read the parish council should be registered as an employer with HMRC and the clerk should be an employee.

Does it make any difference that the clerk works for 6 parish councils?
asked by (920 points)

2 Answers

0 votes
The Clerk is an employee of the Council. They cannot be self-employed. To my knowledge there is no impediment to being Clerk to more than one Council.
answered by (2.5k points)
Actually, you can't contact SLCC, I am told. You may have to resort to employment law to discipline your clerk. Start by asking him to explain his self employed status with proof from a higher authority that it is lawful.
I hope Councillors, Residents and Stakeholders in the Parish/Town will respond to the Local Government Ethical Standards: Stakeholder Consultation.  Many of the views expressed here are pertinent.
Thanks. This issue, and what the Ethical Standards Committee might achieve, could be important. I say could in the hope that it will. I filled in my response a month ago and our Council decided that it should be left to individual Councillors and residents as applicable. At that point our local Council seemed unaware of this body(including the Clerk - who is employed by the Council unlike this one). Our local ALC has now mentioned it in its Newsletter and the link you give has been put on our web-site. Maybe others have a view.
I am glad you have responded to the consultation. We need to raise a storm of protest about the unethical and incompetent behaviour rife in parish councils and this vehicle is as good as it gets. We must impress upon MHCLG that sanctions against malpractice must be introduced and enforced. I would like to see MOs handing down fines and disqualifications.
+1 vote
Your comment and the answer already given are correct. You can find explicit guidance from HMRC at https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/employment-income-manual/eim67300 which categorically states that a parish clerk cannot be self employed. Yes, many clerks work for several small parishes. Sometimes, in that situation, the clerk is paid by the district council and the cost spread among the parishes. If the district council is willing, that simplifies the PAYE administration.
answered by (27.3k points)

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