Employment status in SMEs – HMRC research report

HMRC has published findings from research it commissioned to understand the nature of employment in SMEs. The report looked at how SMEs determine the employment status of their workers and their awareness and use of the online Employment Status Indicator (ESI).

Unsurprisingly, the report concludes that 71% of SMEs seek advice from a professional when determining the employment status of an individual. Only 2% of the SMEs spoken to are currently using the ESI tool and although the majority found it useful, it is not relied upon in isolation to provide the employment status of the individual.

The research, undertaken by the National Centre for Social Research, consisted of 33 in-depth interviews with SMEs and 1,722 telephone surveys.

  • Interesting results. I find it unbelievable that 71% of SMEs speak to a professional when determining employment status. Most SMEs would engage a self employed worker without a second thought. Big companies who utilse the gig economy to avoid NI are much more likely to engage a professional. 2% usage of ESI is also laughable - begs the question why bother!