The Phantom of the ‘self-employed for tax purposes’

If your contract says you are self-employed, does that make it so? This is a question which was recently considered by the Industrial Tribunals sitting in Belfast. 

The claimants, local actors Gerard McCabe and Coronation Street’s Kerri Quinn, appeared in the NI Opera’s production of The Threepenny Opera at the Lyric Theatre. Their contracts stated that they were ‘self-employed for tax purposes’. A question arose over their entitlement to statutory holiday pay.

The Tribunal held that they were both ‘employees working under contracts of employment for the relevant six-week period’ with contracts that ‘did not attempt to set out any wide-ranging agreement that a self-employed status applied in other respects’.

The claimants could not, therefore, be said to be ‘free agents to work as and when they choose’ and NI Opera were ordered to pay them £348.84 and £374.68 respectively. 

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McCabe & Quinn v. Northern Ireland Opera 05982/18IT / 05983/18IT (21 December 2018)

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