Re: Self-employed Milkmen, eh?
No, it's not vague bullshit.
If you work for a single company, cannot replace yourself at will with someone else (and are the entity responsible for finding that replacement if you can't do the work in the end), don't choose your hours, don't use your own tools, and only work under the direct supervision and direction of your "client" etc, then you're clearly not really self-employed, you're an employee who's rights have been taken away by an unscrupulous employer.
It's usually very obvious where the "client" has decided to do things this way to avoid employers' NI.
Someone who is truly self employed is contracted to provide a particular service, not a "warm body" for them to direct at will - "other duties as assigned" is an employee contract, not a business-to-business contract.
- The only real exceptions to the "replace yourself with another" are actors, presenters and designers etc, where part of the contracted service is a particular artiste.
Put it this way - if your current (or most recent) PAYE employer suddenly declared to you that you're self-employed now, but nothing else about your relationship with the company changed, it'd be pretty bloody obvious that it was simply to evade tax.
That happened to a metric shitload of building tradesmen until HMRC started cracking down on them.
There are grey areas of course, and you do have the right to challenge an HMRC decision on this.