October 26th, 2012 / Insight posted in

Dentist needs to know drill for self-employed worker

PR writes: My partner and I run a dental surgery. Two years ago the Inland Revenue decided our three part-time hygienists could no longer be classified as self-employed. We are now at a disadvantage when trying to recruit because the Revenue has applied this ruling only to two or three surgeries in our area. What can we do?

In deciding whether the dental hygienists can be correctly classed as self-employed, a number of questions need to be asked. Do you tell the hygienists when and how their services should be provided? Do your clients consider them part of your organisation? Do clients get a separate bill? Do the hygienists get administrative support from the practice? Do they use their own equipment? Can they hire and pay other people to provide the service you require? No particular answer will carry more weight than the others, but the overall flavour will determine the person´s status. Clearly, the more authority the practice has over them and the greater its support for them the more likely they are to be seen as employed. The fact that other practices in your area are being treated differently may mean they structure their relationships with their hygienists differently. But your use of the word “recruit” implies you are their employer.