back to article Brekkie TV host Lorraine Kelly wins IR35 ruling against HMRC, adds fuel to freelance techies' ire over tax reforms

Obsequious breakfast TV host Lorraine Kelly has become an unlikely champion for the UK's freelance techies battling IR35 legislation – after a tribunal ruled she did not owe a £1.2m tax bill as she was not an ITV employee. Her Maj's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) reformed the way off-payroll staffs' tax statuses are decided in the …

  1. caffeine addict Silver badge

    There are so many things wrong with calling a growler pint sized...

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Either way you mean that, I agree.

    2. iron Silver badge

      It's quite offensive to refer to someone as a growler. I'm wondering if Paul Kunert knows what the word means, English chuff that he is.

      1. Franco Silver badge

        I'm going to guess not, whilst I agree with the comments in this article as regards HMRC it is rather disparaging towards Lorraine Kelly in the language used, and as a fellow Arab I am naturally upset.

        (Note for those unaware - Dundee United fans are commonly referred to as Arabs for obscure reasons so please do not misinterpret my reasons for using that word)

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          I think the whole "Arabs" nickname was due to them using loads of sand once to make the pitch playable, and it has nothing at all to do with middle east geopolitics, etc.

          1. Franco Silver badge

            That's certainly the most common theory for the origin, although some people insist on referring to the team as "The Arabs" when the nickname only applies to the fans with the team usually known as "The Terrors" or "The Tangerines".

            Doesn't change the fact that we're honking at the moment though. :(

      2. VerySadGeek

        https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Growler

      3. Shugyosha

        I would imagine that the growler reference came from Avid Merrion's representation of Lorraine Kelly on Bo' Selecta! Which is unfortunately what I also unconsciously first think of when I hear the name Lorraine Kelly. And yes, it refers to exactly that offensive meaning.

        It is probably problematic these days. It was a different time, way, way back in the the '00s.

      4. Grenou

        Goodness me, where did this "journalist ?" go to school :-(

    3. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Yes, it gave me pause

      I picked up on:

      -Obsequious breakfast TV host

      -Perma-smiling Kelly

      -The pint-sized Scot

      The first two were just-acceptable, in a not-funny way, bu the last had me wondering why it was there.

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        Re: Yes, it gave me pause

        And would they have said any of them about a man?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yes, it gave me pause

          Gordon10: "And would they have said any of them about a man?"

          "-Obsequious breakfast TV host " - Yes if obsequious

          "-Perma-smiling Kelly" - Yes if has annoying perma-smile

          "-The pint-sized Scot" - Yes if small and scottish.

          Why do some people assume every negative comment about a woman is solely motivated by hatred or contempt for all women. In fact women seem to get a much easier ride in the media and surveys of online abuse show that women getless than men (and that women are as if not more significant than men as senders of abuse). The type rather than number of extreme abuse in paticular defintely varies by gender but these comments are just related to obvious characteristics of the person concerned.

        2. caffeine addict Silver badge

          Re: Yes, it gave me pause

          Can't comment for ElReg, but I would have.

          If they'd made DailyMail-esque comments about her clothes then I'd have agreed with you.

      2. steviebuk Silver badge

        Re: Yes, it gave me pause

        Because she's Scottish and tiny so what's the problem? Her Scots accent is such a part of her, for those that don't know who she is, it's a good description.

        1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

          Re: Yes, it gave me pause

          You guys are making her sound like Thumbelina. She's 5'4 fer crissakes. She's not THAT short. (Some sources say 5'5, some say 5'4.)

          (FTR, my mother was 5'4, my wife is 5'2 and my shortest-ever GF was 4'10. So, no, 5'4 doesn't seem all that short to me.)

          Add to that, at least according to Wikipedia, the average height for Scottish women -- indeed, for women in most of the UK -- is 5'3.5, so how is it this woman is considered to be so remarkably diminutive?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_average_human_height_worldwide

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've seen pictures of her growler actually...

      1. Bonzo_red

        I've seen pictures of her growler actually

        Does she drive a Jag then?

      2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

        Did it have nice beer in it?

    5. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Growler

      Ah yeeeeah. A wave of the magic wand and oh look, it's gone.

      C.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Growler

        Leave Lorraine's growler alone!

  2. RobertLongshaft

    Taxation is theft.

    1. caffeine addict Silver badge

      I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you're American.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        A brief trawl of his comment history would indicate he's just a UK fan of Farage.

        1. caffeine addict Silver badge

          I'm surprised.

          95% of the times I see "taxation is theft" it's in block caps and coming from an American. No idea why it's apparently an American phenomenon...

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            @caffeine addict

            "95% of the times I see "taxation is theft" it's in block caps and coming from an American. No idea why it's apparently an American phenomenon..."

            True. I do hear it from a few people around the developed world though and here in the UK. I am of a similar opinion too so maybe people feel freer to talk about it.

          2. TheVogon Silver badge

            Because Breitbart says it is. That combined with high local levels of gullibility (have you seen the figures for belief in a sky fairy?!), the Dunning Kruger effect and motivated inference.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Possibly comes from the ol' "Taxation without Representation" bit...

          4. disgruntled yank Silver badge

            well...

            If Americans liked to pay taxes, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would be about as famous as, oh, Wilfrid Laurier.

            Having said that, I think that the expression "customs-house oath" long precedes 1775, and one recalls the definition of "excise" in Johnson's dictionary that made HM Government consider prosecuting him.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Megaphone

      TAXATION is 15 points in Scrabble!

      1. The Nazz Silver badge

        re scrabble

        Surely, that depends upon whereupon you place it?

        The ex used to score very well with her growler.

    3. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      If so...

      ... then making use of stolen proerty is also a crime, so I presume you don't use roads, or went to school, or have eaten government-safety-checked foods or used government-safety-checked drugs and so on.

      Or you could see taxation as a kitty we all contribute to for the common good.

      1. Ochib

        Re: If so...

        "then making use of stolen proerty is also a crime, so I presume you don't use roads, or went to school, or have eaten government-safety-checked foods or used government-safety-checked drugs and so on."

        Roads - Council Tax, not Central Goverment

        Schools - Council Tax, not Central Goverment

        Trading Standards - Council Tax, not Central Goverment

        If you are south of the border then mileage may vary

        1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: If so...

          Last time I checked local taxation is still taxation.

        2. ArrZarr Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: If so...

          You see, the thing about Council Tax is that it's a Tax.

          You can see it in the name there.

          That word after Council, you see?

        3. chrismiller

          Re: If so...

          In addition to the above Councils receive a grant from central govement too...

          1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

            Re: If so...

            In addition to the above SOME Councils receive a grant from central govement too...

            There fixed it for you.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: If so...

              Try not to be too rude when pointing out a tiny error in a generalisation. Else we could point out if the exact meaning of "grant" applies to your statement, or if it is central government giving out the funds, or through multiple systems.

              All statements can be more refined, and the poster before you never said it was an exhaustive list of what is and is not done in a council.

          2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

            Re: If so...

            @Chrismiller

            You beat me to it. I work in local Govt, we get revenue from local Council Tax, Central Govt, and previously have generated income from housing (Council Houses long since paid for themselves and latterly provided profit). Central Govt funding is still crucial.

        4. TRT Silver badge

          Re: If so...

          Carpets - Carpet Tacks.

          1. Ben Bonsall

            Re: If so...

            Exam Markers - Tic Tax?

            1. Glen 1 Bronze badge
              Joke

              Re: If so...

              But not the colour blue...

        5. InNY

          Re: If so...

          Except for the major trunk roads, which are funded and maintained (via taxation) by either the local County Council, Central Government (Highways Agency) or the local council with funding/management/maintenance from the Highway Agency and/or the local Coumty Council.

        6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: If so...

          "Roads - Council Tax, not Central Goverment"

          Think about that one a bit more carefully. Hint: motorways as one obvious example.

      2. FIA

        Re: If so...

        ... then making use of stolen proerty is also a crime

        As I understand it the original point is that taxation is based on (essentially) the posession of land, which as it was always 'there' in effect has to have been 'taken without recompence' from someone at some time. (Usually by people with pointy sticks).

        The sublty of the point has been lost over the years though.

        , so I presume you don't use roads, or went to school,

        Were we'll all learn about tenses.

        Or you could see taxation as a kitty we all contribute to for the common good.

        Now this is an idea I can get behind... can we call it Lord Fluffykins?? (Although bagsy not first on emptying the litter tray).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: If so...

          can we call it Lord Fluffykins?

          No, it's called Fluffy McTaxface. The public have spoken.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Get arf my land!

      And who gave it to you?

      1. Glen 1 Bronze badge

        And who gave it to them etc

        All the way back to where "I was here first" meets "I have a bigger stick"

  3. }{amis}{ Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    law that it cannot even implement itself

    Since when did any government need an understanding of the matter at hand when ramming policy down other peoples throats??

    1. Franco Silver badge

      Re: law that it cannot even implement itself

      It's surprising they're going after people like Lorraine Kelly who have the money to fight it.

      HMRC never tire of patting themselves on the back for how successful they think the public sector rollout was, but the only people benefiting from this are IR35 lawyers and insurance providers.

      1. DontFeedTheTrolls
        Pirate

        Re: law that it cannot even implement itself

        "It's surprising they're going after people like Lorraine Kelly who have the money to fight it."

        Because Johnnie Smith the contractor nobody has heard of having to cough up £10,000 to HMRC does not make a headline in the Daily Mail.

        Extracting MILLIONS of tax avoidance from well known rich people goes down well with the general scum (except they didn't, and hit the headlines anyway)

  4. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    At Spartacus, re: Scrabble.

    If you used all seven of your letter tiles to create it then you get an extra fifty points for having done so.

    My gramma was a fiend for the game & could create SevenLetterWords (SLWs) like normal folks could lay down "cat".

    The day she linked down two SLWs across multiple 3x score boxes was the day I stopped playing Scrabble with her.

    "Gramma, do you realize your score has a COMMA in it? I'm lucky when I break two hundred. You have over ONE THOUSAND. GAH!"

    And some people wonder why I fear that game. =-Jp

    1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      Re: At Spartacus, re: Scrabble.

      Even less fun if you're dyslexic (thank ${deity} for spell checkers)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: At Spartacus, re: Scrabble.

        If you're dyslexic, presumably your {deity} would be "dog" ?

        AC for obvious reasons....

        1. ArrZarr Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: At Spartacus, re: Scrabble.

          Oh, you're Canadian. There's lovely.

    2. My-Handle
      Joke

      Re: At Spartacus, re: Scrabble.

      When she can spell like that, I can see why you called her "Gramma"

  5. cornetman

    Saw the BBC's take on this.

    What an awful hit piece.

    Jeez, you think El Reg's reporting is spiteful, you should check out what they had to say about her over there.

    Not "Is Lorraine Kelly an employee or a contractor?"

    More like, "Is Lorraine Kelly a nice person or is she secretly a bastard?"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No she is not "secretly" a bastard....

      Someone dodging that amount of tax is most definitely a complete bastard.

      (p.s. fuck off with your avoidance isn't evasion bullshit before you start)

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        @AC. It is not evasion or avoidance if she is being taxed wrongfully by an organisation that either doesn't comply with or understand it's own rules.

        She has a services company that undoubtedly pays it's legally required taxes based on declared income and audited accounts. So don't cut people off with 'Fuck off before yo start' if you are speaking via an anterior sphincter.

      2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        @AC IR35 was implemented in part, to stop companies employing individuals as contractors, but on a permanent basis. That was a fiddle, it saved companies from paying their contribution to National Insurance etc, so paid contractors some of those savings. The company benefitted,. the 'contractor' benefitted, HMRC and the UK lost out on tax revenue.

        But if people registered as private companies, and provide services to more than one company, all is good, they are genuine contractors. Kelly appears to be doing exactly that

        1. Glen 1 Bronze badge

          "provide services to more than one company"

          Hmmm...

          I have 2 PAYE jobs. Maybe I should say I'm a contractor? Nah, I like the paid holiday, thanks.

          The thing about the duck test is that it is in the eye of the beholder, and that is almost always HMRC themselves unless you can afford to fight it.

      3. Graham Dawson

        Avoidance isn't evasion, AC. I avoid paying all sorts of taxes. Corporation tax, for instance. I avoid that by not being a corporation.

        More realistically I avoid paying the stupidly high emergency tax rate because I sorted my tax code. I avoid paying higher rates of income tax because my income, after deductions, doesn't fall into the higher bracket. All of this is avoidance, but not evasion. Evasion would be if I didn't pay the income tax I actually owe.

      4. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        @AC fuck off with your avoidance isn't evasion bullshit before you start

        And there's the authentic voice of HMRC.

        "Never mind the rules, the correct tax is whatever we say it is. Ignore what our online tool says, because we haven't tested it. Just pay up."

        I disagree with the idiot above who said "taxation is theft", but there's no doubt that arbitrary taxation is a violation of the rule of law.

        1. M.V. Lipvig

          Actually quite a bit of taxation is theft. I don't mind paying taxes for roads, but when I'm paying a million bucks per mile per lane, I expect a glass-smooth ride that lasts at least 20 years. What I get is a road where they can't be bothered to grade it smooth before pouring the surface of choice, and the depth of material is too thin to last. So, I get a road that is not smooth, which needs to have potholes patched the following year. And that's just how they handle the things they are supposed to pay for. Billions go towards stuff the government has zero business spending my tax money on, such as research grants into the mating habits of turtles and whatnot. Do said things need to be investigated? Perhaps, perhaps not, but my taxes should not be the source of income for some guy to live in a tropical paradise watching turtles screw.

          1. Wilseus

            HS2 anyone?

      5. Gordan

        @AC: How much tax do you dodge by putting money aside into a pension fund? After all, pension contributions are completely tax exempt. If you are going to mouth off based on your politics of jealousy, I suggest you go pay tax on your pension contributions at your top rate of tax. I'm sure HMRC will forgive you for that error on your tax return.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Tax benefits of pension funds are defined in tax law intentionally. They are not an avoidance method. Likewise ISAs.

          All these schemes which are dreamt up, including but not limited to an individual being a company. You want to be a contractor? Fine, you are a sole trader, not a fucking corporation, pay your income tax and NI.

          .

          1. Gordan

            So just because something is defined internationally that makes it OK?

            Regardles, pension contribution limits and tax advantages vary massively between tax jurisdictions, just as tax rates vary between them.

            Sole traders don't pay a meaningfully different total of tax+NI than ltd companies in a like-for-like comparison. Self employed don't pay employer's NI - specifically the thing that IR35 is trying to squeeze out of people by pushing them into false employment. I suggest you actually look at the tax rates and do the maths before waving your jealous ignorance around.

      6. Franco Silver badge

        "(p.s. fuck off with your avoidance isn't evasion bullshit before you start)"

        Rather than ranting about the sheer ignorance of this statement, I'll ask a question AC. Do you get to the end of the financial year and think to yourself "I've had a really good year, I'll phone up HMRC and offer to pay more tax than I was actually required to"? Nope, didn't think so.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          No, but I also don’t hide behind manipulation of legal wording and hand waving to avoid paying my share. I also don’t take available salary sacrifice schemes, why? They are a tax dodge.

          1. Franco Silver badge

            "I also don’t take available salary sacrifice schemes"

            Neither do I, so by your own definition I am not a tax evader.

          2. Gordan

            By extension of your logic, you should also get private medical insurance and not use the NHS under any circumstances, and never claim your state pension. If taking advantage of legally ratified benefits such as salary sacrifice schemes is tax evasion, then conversely by the same logic taking advantage of benefits you get in exchange for your tax contributions is equally frownable upon sponging off the state.

          3. Wilseus

            "No, but I also don’t hide behind manipulation of legal wording and hand waving to avoid paying my share. I also don’t take available salary sacrifice schemes, why? They are a tax dodge."

            Oh dear. I hope you don't have any savings or an ISA.

      7. HieronymusBloggs Silver badge

        Avoidance

        "fuck off with your avoidance isn't evasion bullshit before you start"

        So how long have you been working for HMRC?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I suspect that the basis for that question is that she used the idea that her TV character (Nice, chatty, Smiles a lot etc) is a *PERSONA*. A persona that she was retained to act out on screen (via her PSC) and that therefore, the question "Is she like that off screen?" is valid...

    3. small and stupid

      Not really, the point was that Ms Kelly is a performer, which strengthens her case as a contractor and makes her agents fees tax deductible

    4. cornetman

      I should clarify that I didn't think El Reg's article was a hit piece, but the BBC one most certainly was.

      Sorry for the ambiguity. I could have been clearer.

  6. Fred Dibnah

    CEST

    CEST is to HMRC as Horizon is to the Post Office, it seems.

    "Our system is totally reliable and error free because we say so"

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I we thought we were getting good value for money I don't think people would be quite so uppity about paying a lot of tax.

    Hoowever recent governments like to take lots of citizens money then piss it around like it's pocket money they got from a rich aunt

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think Lorraine Kelly(tm) is quite attractive, and this article is unnecessarily spiteful.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      I think Lorraine Kelly(tm) is quite attractive, and this article is unnecessarily spiteful.

      Yes, God forbid we unduly harass the beautiful, successful and rich, they have enough problems.

  9. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    IR35 isn't the issue.

    The issue is that someone who annoyingly squarks on daytime tv can rack up an IR35/PAYE *difference* of £899k in tax in four years. The tv companies keep bleating - "We can't afford to keep going", "we need more advertising", "we need more corporate mergers" - perhaps they need to look at their basic 'contractor' costs ...

  10. Helen Highwater

    Her odious husband?

    Steven John Smith was one of the blackleg strikebreakers at TV-AM in the mid eighties dispute. He was at the time an electrician, but took the tainted shilling and was soon a cameraman sleeping with his assigned reporter (the fragrant Ms Kelly).

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems to be par for the course

    I have met other government and local government bodies who do not know (or maybe understand) their own rules

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seems to be par for the course

      Yup. About 14 years ago I worked on a PR mag for a bit of HMG that was then called UKTI. We had a little dispute over the copyright of the photos I shot. I had many other clients at the time, and yet UKTI insisted on calling me an employee despite the facts that I hadn't signed an employment contract, was not paid PAYE, enjoyed no employees' benefits, and that my invoices to them were in the name of the Ltd. company I trade through.

      They didn't understand copyright, either.

      1. DontFeedTheTrolls
        Headmaster

        Re: Seems to be par for the course

        You don't have to sign an employment contract to be an employee, an employment contract can be made verbally, however signing one makes it much easier to prove what was agreed between the two parties if ever a dispute arises.

  12. Cuddles Silver badge

    Really?

    "The pint-sized Scot was not given employee benefits such as holiday, pension entitlement, sick pay or maternity leave...

    Whilst there is no requirement for a contract of employment to include such features"

    I'm pretty sure there is a legal requirement for a contract of employment to include holiday, sick pay and parental leave.

    1. David Dawson

      Re: Really?

      This is the hilarity of IR35.

      If your legal arrangment is via a company, you invoice, paye corp tax etc.

      You then get deemed to be within IR35 (you are a disguised employee), you have to pay all of the employee taxes.

      But, no allowance is made for any of the employee benefits. No holidays, no sick pay etc.

      So you get penalised well below the benefit level that an employee has, without even addressing the questions around contract termination, pensions ...

      You go from "I'll take a bit more risk, for a bit more reward" to "I'll take all the risks, for much less reward".

      The system is broken. Last time they dared give out the numbers, it doesn't even bring in more tax (it lost money collecting it), it's ideological.

  13. Nematode

    Hmmm. Bl**dy h**l. There I was expecting a discussion on IR35, and all I learn is a new set of slang that has passed me by in all my 64 years. How come, and this is a criticism of all News Site "Comment" sections, all of you guys have the time, during the normal working day, to post all these (mostly fatuous and thoroughly unimportant) posts, and of course to read the article in the first place, and, actually, to be on El Reg site in the noughth place. Or don't you have work to do? Actually, no I don't, I'm retired and managed to go my whole contractor career without an IR35 case, phew. (OK, some, but not all, will have a genuine excuse.) And what's the proportion of permies vs. contractors on this thread? So, for those who don't have a valid reason for being here, think - are you a professional, or an MGB? Don't bother replying, I'm not going to rise to the bait. You're probably saying, no, we don't need to be serious, it's alright to have a bit of fun. My point entirely. On either Company or Client time. Ducks brickbats and thumbs downs. And off to work out what I can do next out of all the post-retirement possibilities....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Can’t speak for any other commentards but I only post here whilst sat on the crapper

      1. getHandle

        My Code's Compiling

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
    2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      "... off to work out what I can do next out of all the post-retirement possibilities...."

      Well, you can knock being a miserable person off your list! I bet your lawn doesn't have many people on it.

  14. RobertLongshaft

    Imagine being such a sad pathetic human that you need a government to tell you how to live your life, to provide for you and to tell you how to think.

  15. devTrail

    Another point of view

    Definitely I don't share El Reg point of view. The IR35 could have been a way to stop the transition going on to the US style system where employers do not have any responsibility and workers absolutely no rights. Reading that Lorraine Kelly ha become an unlikely champion for the UK's freelance techies fells like the usual piece of corporate hypocrisy. I'm aware that contractors have no overtime pay (I'm painfully aware of it), holidays or sickness leave, however fighting the tax office instead of the employers means accepting the situation, keep in mind that a lot of people aren't offered anything else but contractor roles, they don't work as contractors by choice and claiming that the tax office is unfairly pursuing genuine freelancers and contractors means shifting the burden from the employers to the workers.

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: Another point of view

      I think you've missed the entire point of the new changes.

      1. devTrail

        Re: Another point of view

        I can remember that when the EU tried to set different standards immediately the UK asked to add the opt out clause. What you miss is not the nature of the changes, but how every change against the US way trend is constantly challenged.

  16. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    Still smells like bullshit

    Their argument seems to be that because Lorraine Kelly can take a leave of absence and substitute someone in their absence, plus exercise a large degree of control over the programmes they present, they're not an employee.

    Despite the fact one of the programmes is called 'Lorraine'. Yes, they may have taken on other work in the same period and arranged another presenter, but the chance of having the entire run (or a majority part) of 'Lorraine' presented by someone who is not in fact Lorraine, after ITV have specifically asked for it to be presented by a particular Lorraine is low.

    It's not like a contract for Email Exchange Systems to administrate Exchange, which is usually (but not always) Bob, it's the 'Our e-mail system is maintained by the world renowned Bob Exchange Systems. You know your e-mail is safe when it's in Bob's hands'.

    How fucking convenient that the famous get an exception.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Still smells like bullshit

      But, the TV company can cancel Lorraine on no notice - and start a new show called Theresa, say the very moment that a famous Theresa loses her current high-profile job... And there's still a presenter, so they couldn't make Lorraine redundent - they'd have to keep her on as an employee and use her for something else. And this happens in the media, where you have staff people who are moved around from job to job, and contractors brought in for specific shows. Say 15 years ago when Carlton took on Ant and Dec and wrote various shows round them, until they started getting hits.

      It's a grey area, because there are arguments either way. But it's not unreasonable having a private company when you've got lots of expenses (like an agent) related to multiple different media jobs - and your job security is entirely related to a show's ratings.

      1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

        Re: Still smells like bullshit

        I would doubt it is 'no notice' - but I can understand that there's the risk of the show not being renewed after the agreed period, or if it's new, possibly a clause to end it early when it's unproven.

        Also, don't give me a heart attack at the thought of a programme called Theresa. Hopefully it'd probably be only watched by two guys, probably both called Phillip.

        I'm actually not unsympathetic to contractors, as there does need to be increased reward for higher risk and uncertainty, I'm just not sure entertainers should be apparently held to a different standard.

        You could equally apply the argument to a marketing consultant, an SEO optimiser, even an infrastructure engineer who has to deliver a page response time.

      2. devTrail

        Re: Still smells like bullshit

        I can bet her paycheck includes the risks, takes into account the overtime and everything else. The trouble is the she is setting the standards for people whose contracts include the same lack of labour rights but no rewards for it.

  17. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Same in the US

    It's a common theme for governments to want to discourage people working for themselves. In the US, there is a whole heap of extra taxes when you are self-empolyed. You get assessed for both employee and employer taxes. The real kicker is you are charged tax from the first dollar. I had a pretty shite year a couple back where I was out with medical issues and only booked about a grand in actual income. The IRS wanted $229 of that in tax. You'd think that trying to tax somebody that's only making $1k/year is a wee bit aggressive. If I had been an employee, I would have been so far under the bar that I would have been getting money back under some welfare program or other. I am also still battling the mandatory health insurance payments I couldn't make while I was freakin' ill that didn't really help much.

  18. Tommy Pock

    Clever.

    You can avoid paying tax if you have a good accountant. And you can afford a good accountant if you avoid paying tax

    *head tap meme*

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