Off Payroll Working: Common roles
This process has been developed as a tool to help simplify the decision process to determine the appropriate employment status for certain roles which are common throughout the higher education sector or within our University.
This approach also aims to minimise the administration for departments with repeating roles, where the outcome of the employment status determination (CEST) will be the same for any individual undertaking that role; the employment status determination of the role will not change by worker.
For ongoing compliance, the University will review these common role arrangements annually to ensure that the employment status determinations remain valid for tax purposes.
As employment relationships may change over time, it is essential that engaging managers contact the Off Payroll Working (IR35) team if the arrangements of the work changes, particularly when workers have been engaged regularly in the same role, to enable the employment status to be reviewed to ensure it is still appropriate for both tax and employment rights purposes.
What is a “common role”
A "common role" is a role where the essential service requirements will not change irrespective of the worker engaged to carry them out. The role description will be the same for every worker undertaking the role, with the same relationship with the University, irrespective of the individual worker.
A "common role" can be identified as a role which:
If you have a role which meets this criteria, then you may create a "common role" for use by your department.
In some cases, “common roles” can be created for use across the University.
Examples of University wide common roles are:
Within these common roles, the individuals engaged are likely to have different skills or specialisms because of the nature of the work itself.
For example a career coach will be engaged for an individual member of staff at a point in their career. They may need to have experience of the area of work or the challenges faced at a senior level in an organisation.
What does not change is the role description for the coaching service itself.
Off payroll working (IR35) common roles process flowchart
The flowchart below shows the Off Payroll Working (IR35) common roles process, detailing the steps undertaken by the engaging manager and the central Off Payroll Working (IR35) team.
A PDF version of the flowchart is available here.
|Creating a new common role||
Creating a new common role
When you identify a new common role, where a standard employment status determination (CEST) has not yet been created (not on the common roles list), it is necessary for the University to create the documents required for audit and HMRC compliance purposes. This includes a clearly defined role description and an accurately determined employment status (CEST) outcome, which can then be used, with confidence, for each new worker engaged for that role.
The steps for creating a new common role are as follows:
Engaging new workers into an established common role
When a common role and standard employment status determination (CEST) has been created, these will be added to the University’s common roles list and assigned a unique common role code.
Please Note: A common role code is created once the standard CEST has been completed by the Off Payroll Working (IR35) team and should not be confused with the CEST reference number required to set the worker up as a vendor. Every individual worker, including those undertaking a common role, will require a unique CEST reference number to proceed with the vendor set up.
Check the common roles list
When you are seeking to engage a new worker into a common role, you will need to refer to the common roles list.
If the common role is on the list, this role will have been assigned a common role code which confirms that a standard CEST has been completed and you may follow the procedure below.
If the common role is not on the list, a new common role will need to be created (see Creating a new common role).
To ensure our compliance, please follow these steps when using common roles with a standard CEST:
The HMRC requires employers to carry out the Off Payroll Working checks for all worker engagements and to consider whether the IR35 regulations apply where the engagement involves an intermediary (typically a Personal Service Company or an Agency).
Therefore, the Off Payroll Working (IR35) team is required to keep a record of each individual engaged Off Payroll and document the status determination that we have carried out. This must be done for each worker, even if the role they are undertaking is the same one as previously assessed and even if it is a common role, where we have predetermined the status outcome.
Existing workers engaged in a common role
If you have workers that you have already engaged in a role that you have asked the Off Payroll Working (IR35) Team to assess as a common role, you can send a list to the team to obtain the unique CEST reference for these workers. This will ensure you have the references available should you be asked to provide it as part of the payment process.
Once the common role has been assessed and a common role code assigned by the Off Payroll Working (IR35) Team, please use the ESQ3 spreadsheet to record the details of each worker in the common role and send this to the team.
The team will then provide a unique CEST reference number to each worker.
We are still developing these webpages and would welcome any feedback to improve our guidance for those using the Off Payroll Working (IR35) procedures. Please share any suggestions with the team on IR35@sheffield.ac.uk.