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Director and Office Holder Employment Status

Information in this section explains director employment status and their rights. Find out how and why company directors get classed as office holder status.

DIRECTOR: Having director status means you would be running a limited company. You would do so on behalf of the company shareholders.

Company directors have several different rights and responsibilities than people in employee status.

Directors get classed as office holders for National Insurance contributions and tax purposes.

In some isolated cases, a director may have an employment contract. It would only apply if an individual does other work that is ‘unrelated’ to being a director.

Note: Thus, having a contract of employment would grant a director employment rights and responsibilities.

Office Holder Employment Status

An office holder is a person appointed to a certain position by an organisation or a company. Having office holder employment status means you would not have a contract or receive regular payments.

This particular position of employment can include:

  • An ecclesiastical appointment (e.g. members of the clergy).
  • Appointments made under a trust deed (e.g. trustees).
  • Appointments made under the internal constitution of an organisation. Typical examples include trade union secretaries or club treasurers.
  • Statutory appointments. As a rule, these include registered company directors or secretaries. It also applies to crown appointments or the board members of statutory bodies.

In the working population, office holders do not get classed as employees or workers. Yet, it is possible for an individual to be an office holder and an employee at the same time.

It could happen if they have an employment contract issued by the same company or organisation. Even so, the contract would need to meet the criteria of employed employees.

Working Out Office Holder Status

You are likely to have office holder employment status if some or most of these statements apply:

  • You have no contract or service agreement that relates to your appointment.
  • Your work duties are minimal. They are only those required under the relevant statute, constitution, or trust deed.
  • You do not get a salary or any other form of regular payment in return for your services.
  • The only payment you get is a voluntary payment (honorarium) no matter what work you do. The appointing body deducts your National Insurance and taxes.
  • As a rule, you work as an independent office. The appointing body does not carry out close supervision or control over your work.

Employment Status of Director and Office Holder in the United Kingdom