Entertainers will be treated as self-employed for NIC purposes from 6 April 2014 instead of being deemed to be employed earners. This is a reversion to the rules which applied up to 1998.

For this purpose an entertainer is defined as someone engaged as an actor, singer or musician, or in any similar performing capacity, other than under a contract of service.

The average annual income of an entertainer engaged as an actor or in any similar performance category is £12,000.The total annual performing work for an average entertainer is only between 12 and 14 weeks, so most at some point supplement their earnings with outside employment. Benefit entitlements will be affected under the new rule, as up to 5 April 2014 entertainers could claim jobseekers’ allowance when not working. As a self-employed person, however, the universal credit will be reduced.

As a positive step the change should result in the UK being more competitive as a production location, with the 13.8% employer’s NIC ceasing to apply.