HC Deb 07 June 1995 vol 261 cc195-6W
Mr. French

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people, classified as self-employed by the Inland Revenue, are required by the Contributions Agency to he treated as employed for the purposes of national insurance contributions; and in what types of activity they are mainly engaged. [26389]

Mr. Arbuthnot

The Inland Revenue and the Contributions Agency are committed to a "common approach" in determining employment status. Under this arrangement, the conclusion reached by one Department about an individual's status after an investigation of all the facts will normally be accepted by the other.

It is not possible to estimate the number of people who are treated as self-employed by the Inland Revenue but as employees by the Contributions Agency for the purposes of national insurance contributions. There is a very limited number of groups of workers covered by particular statutory rules which may result in such different treatment.

Certain divers are assessable as self-employed persons for income tax purposes but pay national insurance contributions as employees. Additionally, the Social Security (Categorisation of Earners) Regulations provide that particular groups of workers should be treated as employees. In these cases it may mean occasionally that the national insurance treatment differs from the tax treatment. The following groups of workers are affected:

  • Agency workers;
  • Ministers of religion;
  • Office cleaners;
  • Part-time or visiting lecturers, teachers or instructors;
  • Persons employed by their spouse.

There is currently some difference in treatment involving workers in the entertainment industry which is under review.