Employed or self employed depending if busy


Accountant for salon owners
Hi everyone

Just seeing if anyone else has this set up:

A stylist is an employee of the salon (so paid via PAYE) on slow days but is allowed to be self employed on their busy days.

Many thanks


New Member
Hi Andrew,

This sounds a very weird set-up.
I'd say that there's no such thing. HMRC doesn't allow such a thing in the same workplace for the same role.

I suppose technically a person could be employed as a salon manager and self employed as a stylist but the hours and duties for each role would need to be clearly defined and separated.

Practically, how would the employed and self-employed income be separated? How would the employer work the payrole? What about the contract and holiday pay? What about a clients complaint? If a refund or redo was needed who would be responsible and who's budget would that time or product come out of?

I can't work out who this set-up would benefit, but it certainly not a forthright arrangement.


Well-Known Member
Can’t see how that arrangement would ever work let alone be ok with the Inland Revenue.
How would you define ‘busy’ for starters?!


Can’t see it ever being accepted by HMRC but also cannot see the benefit at all accept trying to avoid vat registration.
All the responsibilities of being an employer towards them still there but giving away more to them on the most lucrative days ???


Super Moderator
Staff member
A stylist is an employee of the salon (so paid via PAYE) on slow days but is allowed to be self employed on their busy days.
I doubt HMRC would accept this arrangement.
I suppose they can be employed on a part-time basis on agreed days BUT I’d be asking:

1. Do they have an employment contract and what does it state? I’m guessing it’s a very haphazard set up!
2. Are they paying rent or a percentage split on the days they’re self-employed? I’m betting it’s a percentage split.
3. Can the renter set their own prices on the ‘busy days’? Does all the money go through the same till?
4. Who looks after the client records?
5. Is sick pay payable?
6. How on earth do they work out NI, tax payments, pension payments and holiday entitlement?


Accountant for salon owners
Thanks for all your comments so far!

I completely agree with you all and I had already gone back to the salon who had contacted me saying the same things to them.

But then I wondered if I had missed something, or if other salons have the set up. Which is why I put out this question. So it’s good to see I haven’t lost my marbles!