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UK – Judge gives split decision on IR35 locum ruling

03 July 2019

A UK tax tribunal judge concluded differing outcomes for two engagements undertaken by urologist George Mantides’ limited company, ruling one inside IR 35 rules and the other outside of IR35.

According to court documents, Tribunal Judge Charles Hellier agreed that IR35 applied to an engagement between Mantides’s company GML and the Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) in 2013, however Mantides succeeded in challenging a tax bill concerning an engagement with Medway Maritime Hospital (MMH) later that year.

Mantides is the sole director and owner of GML. Between March and August 2013 Mantides worked as a locum at RBH, and between September and October 2013 he worked as a locum for MMH. RBH and MMH paid GML for those services.

However, Mantides’ engagements with RBH and MMH differed. One key difference was that Mentides was required to provide his personal services to RBH. However, the tribunal concluded that the contract between GML and MMH contained a valid substitution clause, granted any substitute proposed was suitable on the basis of the trust’s assessment criteria. Furthermore, the contract with MMH could be ended on one day’s notice while the tribunal found that at least a week’s notice would have been required from either party for the termination of the engagement with RBH.

According to Contractor Calculator CEO Dave Chaplin, locums across the UK will be optimistic that the case could prove a catalyst for fair and accurate assessments within the sector.

“Thousands of locums will be on contracts working in the same manner as Mr Mantides. Some of them in cases where IR35 applies, and some where it does not, as this case has highlighted,” Chaplin said.

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