HMRC OP21: guidance for clients updated

Today, HMRC have updated their guidance on off-payroll working for clients. Some rules already apply to all public sector clients, but from 6 April 2021 medium and large-sized private sector clients also need to apply them. The private sector includes third sector organisations, such as some charities.


  1. Overview
  2. Who the rules apply to
  3. When you need to start applying the rules
  4. What you need to do as a client
  5. What to do if a worker or deemed employer disagrees with your determination

What you need to do as a client

You’ll need to decide the employment status of:

  • every worker you engage through their intermediary
  • every worker you engage through an agency

The determination should be communicated using a Status Determination Statement (SDS).

An SDS must:

  • be passed to the worker and the person or organisation you contract with
  • give your conclusion and the reasons for coming to it

Reasonable care must be taken when making a determination. You can issue an SDS before 6 April 2021 if the rules apply.

You’ll also need to:

  • make sure you keep detailed records of your employment status determinations, including the reasons for the determination and fees paid
  • have processes in place to deal with any disagreements that arise from your determination
  • confirm the size of your organisation if asked by the person or organisation you contract with, or the worker

If you are also the fee-payer and the off-payroll working rules apply, you will need to deduct and pay tax and National Insurance contributions to HMRC.

Published: 30 November 2020