T4 Contract for Services
Updated: 22 November 2023 | 10:05 AM
This Contract for Services is available for self-employed teachers and musicians working in an educational or community context. It can be used for a variety of purposes such as one-off or time specific projects, workshops, conferences, training, conducting and coaching.
Time taken to discuss and agree Schedule 1 and the individual clauses within this agreement will help avoid misunderstandings in the future and contribute to a successful project. Should you require any assistance, please contact the MU.
Guidance for Contract T4
This guidance shall not constitute legal or other advice from us to our members and we strongly recommend that members seek their own independent legal advice to ensure that the contract is adapted appropriately. The MU is not responsible for any liabilities or losses incurred by our members as a result of their use of the contract.
The first page of the contract contains various blank spaces which should be completed with the appropriate details. Please note the disclaimer.
Definitions (page 2)
Throughout this document, we use abbreviations, words, and phrases to describe specific roles, functions, laws, etc. For example, 'DBS,' 'Assistant,' and 'Data Protection.' This section explains what these expressions mean in the context of this document.
Section 1 - The Assignment
As mentioned previously, taking time to complete Schedule 1 is very important. Relying on assumptions based on past experiences or wishful thinking could be problematic and unreliable. If you have any problems completing Schedule 1, it suggests that the project requires further consideration and clarification.
Section 2 - Status
A genuinely self-employed person meets most of the following conditions:
- they work under a contract for services, not a contract of service;
- they are responsible for their own business affairs, its financial planning, success or failure (this includes being registered with HMRC as a ‘sole trader’);
- they are clearly in business for themselves and have a promotional website and business cards to illustrate this and are free to determine their own rates of pay, trading terms and conditions (between the VMT and the parent / guardian / carer);
- they are free to decline offers of work and can determine when, where and how to provide it, including the right to decline pupils;
- they are not subject to control from a supervisor;
- they are free to hire a substitute to cover periods of absence and free to profit from this arrangement by paying the substitute less than is being charged (the substitute should be paid by the VMT, who is responsible for resolving any issues arising from this substitution, potentially at their own financial risk and business reputation);
- they are responsible for providing their own equipment (within reason), including insurance and the cost of repair and maintenance;
- they are free to have multiple clients. (Note: if you’re working exclusively in one school, invoicing the school for services provided and there is an expectation on both sides that you will receive and provide this work, it is likely that you have become an employee - please contact your regional MU office for advice);
- they do not receive employee-like benefits such as holiday pay, pension, free lunches, an office, departmental titles, e.g., Head of Strings, etc.;
- they are responsible for paying their own tax and National Insurance, holiday pay and sick pay;
- they are responsible for their own pension scheme;
- they are responsible for providing their own public, personal and professional insurance.
For further details on employment status, please refer to the MU’s Employment Status for Instrumental and Vocal Teachers.
Section 3 - Eligibility to work
Where applicable, if the Contractor is a non-UK resident and is not represented by a UK agent registered on the Simplified Tax System for Classical Music or the Middleman Scheme, the Client will withhold 20% tax from the agreed fee if the fee exceeds the Contractor’s Personal Tax Allowance, as required by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), unless the Client is provided with an FEU4 certificate 28 days in advance of the Assignment.
UK Agents who are not on the Simplified Tax System or Middleman Scheme representing Assignment participants who are non-UK residents shall be responsible for making reduced Withholding Tax applications to the Foreign Entertainers Unit (FEU).
For Assistants without a UK Agent, it is the Contractor’s own responsibility to apply to the FEU for reduced withholding tax.
Also, check whether the Client is registered as an Approved Payers in the middleman scheme.
Section 5 - Charges and payment
Don’t be shy in being assertive on this issue. For example, some Contractors may request 50% payment in advance for preparation, and others may request five-day payment terms. Clause 5.4 enables you to specify your payment terms. Don’t forget to complete Schedule 1 in full, especially the section on the agreed fee and terms.
Failure to present full payment within 30 days (if agreed) entitles the contractor to charge interest in accordance with the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Act 1988. Should you experience any delays in payment, contact the MU.
Regarding VAT, please refer to the MU’s guidance on VAT for teaching musicians and consult your tax adviser or accountant.
Sections 6 and 7 – Venue and equipment
This is often overlooked until day 1 of the project. Most client’s are amenable to last minute changes or requests, but you should never rely on this.
Section 8 – Insurance
Your membership of the Musicians’ Union provides a comprehensive package of insurance as listed on the MU’s website. However, before signing this Agreement, please check with the Client that the cover provided by your membership is appropriate and adequate. If you need further assistance, please contact the MU.
Section 9 – Substitution
The right to use a deputy or substitute is a clear indicator of self-employment. If you are restricted by the Client in this respect, your employment status may be affected. If you need further assistance, please contact the MU.
Section 10 – Confidentiality and Data Protection
If you are required to collect and protect personal data, you must familiarise yourself with data protection rules and GDPR. For further guidance and support, please review the Information Commissioner’s Office website: Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
Section 11 – Intellectual Property Rights
As this clause sets out, the Intellectual Property Rights of all materials created and produced by the Contractor in support of the project, whether published or recorded, remain with the Contractor. However, if the Client intends to own the copyright of all materials created and produced by the Contractor, you will need to complete a separate agreement. Please refer to Copyright for Songwriters, Composers & Lyricists | Musicians' Union | The MU (musiciansunion.org.uk) for further information.
Section 12 – Health & Safety
A good starting point for understanding Health & Safety is to visit the MU’s Health and Safety pages.. To avoid unfortunate situations which may expose you to a liability, it is advisable to complete a Risk Assessment. Click here for further details. The OiRA online assessment tool is designed to help you identify risks and helps you to produce a documented risk assessment report and action plan. Please note, some clients may require you to complete a risk assessment as a condition of your agreement. If you need help, contact the MU.
Section 13 – Safeguarding
Please visit the MU website for the latest guidance on safeguarding for music teachers.
Section 17 – Dispute Resolution
At the first sign of a dispute, contact the MU. It’s better to resolve minor issues as they emerge than wait in the hope that difficulties will blow over.
We hope that any clauses not included in this guidance are self-explanatory. If in doubt, contact the MU.
Schedule 1 is designed as a questionnaire to facilitate an in-depth discussion about the project between the Client and Contractor. While it offers a comprehensive range of questions, it is not an exhaustive list. Please feel free to expand on any topics or provide additional details in the ‘Other’ sections to ensure that all relevant aspects of the project are thoroughly explored and agreed.
Once completed, this information will be binding unless otherwise changed in accordance with Clause 22.
Should you require any assistance in completing this form, please contact, contact the MU.