NPA Lunch & Learn – Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST)

Event Details Add to calendar



Virtually via Zoom

End Date

End Time

Free of charge as part of your NPA membership

Join experts from NPA Trusted Partners Worknest & Hutchings Accountants for an overview of key issues to be aware of when considering the employment status of locums.

CEST, which stands for ‘Check Employment Status for Tax’, is a digital tool developed by HMRC (His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) to aid public authorities in determining whether a locum pharmacist falls within or outside the scope of IR35, a legislation governing off-payroll working. It functions as a quiz-like format where users respond to a series of questions to ascertain if someone qualifies as self-employed or should be treated as an employee.

Pharmacies now need to use CEST due to HMRC’s recent announcement regarding the removal of sector-specific employment status guidance for locum pharmacists, effective from June 30, 2023.



  1. What is CEST & IR35?
  2. Recent changes affecting pharmacies and locums
  3. The difference between workers, employees and the self-employed
  4. The small companies exemption
  5. How to use CEST

Hutchings Accountants have kindly put together an FAQs document for our members which is available to view here.


  1. Understanding what different types of employment status there are
  2. Things to consider when determining whether an individual is an employee
  3. How does this relate to IR35 assessments?
  4. How can the Advisory service support members?

Worknest have kindly reviewed and approved the NPA’s locum agreement templates from an employments perspective, which is available here.



Meet the Speakers

Atif Butt

Atif is the senior accountant at Hutchings Accountants Ltd and has over 20 years’ experience helping business owners. He specialises in the pharmacy sector and assisting with business transfers.



Laura Williams

Laura heads up the Employment Law Advisory Service supporting NPA members. Laura has experience in advising both SME and multi-national companies across a range of industries, including pharmacy, retail and service sectors, charities, dental practitioners and the hair and beauty industry. Laura prides herself in taking a pragmatic approach in reaching commercially minded solutions for her clients.


NPA Members can access the NPA employment knowledge hub here, and contact WorkNest on 0330 123 0558 or to discuss individual enquiries.

Read FAQs on the Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool here

Information on the  removal of the locum pharmacist guidance has been included  in the HMRC Employer Bulletin for June 2023