Employed or self employed
The HMRC Upper Tribunal dismissed an appeal from Weight Watchers (UK) Limited (the "Company") regarding the status of their Weight Watchers leaders. The Company believed them to be self employed and not an employee for tax purposes. The Upper Tribunal disagreed and found they were employees. The Upper Tribunal looked at the degree of control the Company exercised over the leaders and the reality of the situation, not just the documentation in place.
People who Weightwatchers thought were self employed are actually employees and thus they now face a huge tax bill. The Employment Tribunal has given a clear warning that they will ignore any documentation if they do not accurately reflect the true position.
Its the usual advice: Employers should ensure they regularly review their documentation to ensure they reflect what is actually happening in practice. Employers would also be well advised to ensure they have provisions in place that ensure they can recover tax and national insurance contributions from their employees.