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A guide to SDC (supervision, direction and control)

Monday 19th November 2018

Introduced in April 2016, supervision, direction and control (SDC) is an important aspect of contracting for both the contractors themselves and the agencies they work with.

Having an effective knowledge of this particular test is essential as this will determine the type of expenses that a contractor is able to claim back, as well as the route they can register with (i.e. CIS, umbrella, etc). Take a look below as we explore SDC in more detail.

SDC infographic

What is SDC?

Supervision refers to whether or not the work a contractor is carrying out is being supervised by another person within a business, to ensure that work is being done and to the correct standard, this would be within ‘supervision’ guidelines. This can also include supporting the contractor when necessary to develop the skills and knowledge required for the assignment.

Direction will see a contractor being instructed, guided or advised on how to carry out that work at hand by another person. This will include a person coordinating the work to be carried out by a contractor as it is undertaken.

Control is when a person is dictating how the work should be done, as opposed to letting the contractor carry out the work how they wish to. Control can also refer to the power to move a person from one job to another.

Should a contractor fall under SDC, they are no longer able to claim back travel and subsistence expenses, which can ultimately cause issues for those having to travel substantial distances as their take home pay will decrease significantly.

SDC status should be assessed on an assignment by assignment basis, and because of this, a contractor may be wish to carefully consider whether or not a contract should be accepted prior to its commencement, following SDC analysis.

Checking SDC status

Prior to any new contract being undertaken it is vital that it is reviewed with SDC in mind, as this may affect the contractor’s decision as to whether or not to go ahead. At Sterling we have a compliance team who will assess each contractors SDC status at the start of each assignment.

A member of our compliance team will ask questions with regards to the assignment itself, the qualifications and experienced required, the amount of supervision contractors will receive whilst on assignment and instruction on how to carry out the assignment. This will ultimately provide significant insight for our team to determine whether or not the contract is subject to SDC and recommendations for how the contractor can move forward.

Still unsure of how SDC impacts you? Contact our team today to discuss further and discover how we can support you throughout the assessment process.

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