0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

lack of Mutuality allows contractor to get around HMRC

23 February 2011

The rights of an employer to terminate a contract without notice could be key in deciding whether an independent contractor, trading through a limited company, has to comply with tax avoidance measure IR35.

In MBF Design Services Limited v HMRC the tax tribunal decided that the employer’s right to terminate Mr Fitzpatrick’s contract without notice was “characteristic of a contract for services but quite foreign to the world of employment”. Against this background, other terms of the contract which could be seen as confirming his employee status were given less weight.

This will give some comfort to contractors working on large manufacturing, IT or construction projects where contractors are required to use certain systems and procedures alongside employees, but have no true guarantee of work from week to week.

For employers seeking maximum flexibility from their independent contractors it does give an additional argument “after all…”, they can now explain to would-be contractors working for them “this clause helps you retain your independence ….”

related opinions

Immigration rules post Brexit

Free movement between the UK and the EU ended on 31 December 2020. Since 1 January 2021, a new points-based immigration system applies to all migrants wanting to come to the UK, whether they are EU citizens or not.

View blog

“Please release me, let me go” Government to consult on removal of non-compete clauses

The Government has announced a consultation exercise into the possible removal of non-compete clauses in employment contracts which will run until 26 February 2021.

View blog

Changes to the Job Support Scheme

The government has now announced further changes to the Job Support Scheme (now renamed the Job Support Scheme Open), with both the percentage of working hours and the employer contribution to unworked hours dropping.

View blog

The Restriction of Public Sector Exit Payments Regulations 2020

On 14 October 2020, The Restriction of Public Sector Exit Payments Regulations 2020 (the “Regulations”) were made into law and will come into force on 4 November 2020.

View blog

Richard Nicholas

Richard Nicholas

Partner and Responsible for In House Lawyers

View profile

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up