Our Mutual Friend

Keith Gordon considers the Court of Appeal’s decision in a case looking at the employment status of football referees

In the November 2018 issue of Tax Adviser, my article ‘Men in Black’ considered the First-tier Tribunal’s decision in the case of Professional Game  Match Officials Ltd v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 528 (TC).  

The taxpayer, often abbreviated as ‘PGMOL’, supplies football referees for the higher levels of the English game. HMRC had ruled that the referees were employees of PGMOL. Its determination was reached by applying the High Court decision of Mr Justice MacKenna in Ready Mixed Concrete (South East) Ltd v Minister of Pensions and National Insurance [1968] 2 QB 497, which set out what has become the almost universally accepted three-limb test for employment (notwithstanding the language that has become somewhat antiquated in the meantime).