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Employment Status Indicator

Before starting to use the Employment Status Indicator (ESI) tool, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) recommends that you read the guidance on employment status. This explains the factors that determine whether a worker is considered employed or self-employed. You must also read and accept the conditions of use set out below.

Read more guidance about employment status

If you have difficulty accessing or using the tool

If you are unable to access the tool or if you experience any technical problems when using it - please contact the Online Services Helpdesk on Telephone 0300 200 3600.

Information for users

Currently, when the Employment Indicator results screen is displayed for an 'employment status cannot be determined' outcome, customers are directed to one of three telephone numbers depending on their home location. Would customers based in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland please note that their number has changed to Telephone 03000 527450, and customers requiring a status opinion by the HMRC Status Customer Service Team should use this alternative number with immediate effect. Please also note that the appropriate number for customers based in England is now Telephone 03000 527450.

Customers using ESI to determine the employment status of a teacher, lecturer or instructor etc, are automatically provided with the reference to ESM 4500etc which explained the special National Insurance contribution rules for teachers, lecturers etc. Please note that the legislation was repealed with effect from 6 April 2012, therefore, for all periods after this date the status of teachers, lecturers and tutors should be determined purely by case law for both tax and National Insurance contributions.

The ESI result screen currently advises customers not to use the ESI for film and TV industry workers or entertainers. Any references to film and TV industry workers either on this screen on in the drop-down menu of the Trade Details screen apply only to those individuals who work behind the camera in film and TV or off-air in radio production.

When attempting to determine the status of presenters and journalists working in front of the TV camera or radio presenters working in front of the microphone, customers should use the ESI in the first instance but should select 'other' for the trade of worker and use their specific job title (unless they are entertainers or are engaged in one of the capacities described in the preceding paragraph.)

Amendments to the relevant ESI application screens will be made when a new version of the tool is next released.


HMRC value your feedback. To tell them about your experiences of using the tool or to suggest any improvements please use the link below.

Send feedback on the ESI tool

The current version of the tool is V1.3.0.2 which was released on 10 August 2010.

HMRC will use this page to inform you whenever a new version is released.

Conditions of use

Employment status is determined by the contractual terms of an engagement. Normally, this will be the written agreement between the parties. However, where the written document does not represent the whole bargain, or where the terms have been varied either by express agreement or by practice, or where there is no written agreement, then the information entered into the ESI tool may reflect the terms of the contract, what the parties carry out in practice, or a combination of both.

The information you provide should, to the best of your knowledge, accurately reflect your working arrangements. HMRC routinely carries out compliance activities. In the course of these activities, they will check that the working arrangements reflect the information provided.

If you wish to use the ESI tool for a group of workers then they must all have the same material terms of engagement. Otherwise you must submit a separate ESI enquiry for each individual worker.

I accept the conditions of use - go to the ESI tool