When dealing with specialist services such as IT services, it may often be
the case that a service provider (or “main contractor” in this context)
wishes to sub-contract all or part of the services they are contracted to
This IT Services Sub-Contractor Agreement is designed for use by an IT
specialist working as a sub-contractor on a self-employed basis. It has
been designed to be sufficiently broad to cover a range of different types
of IT services. The specific details which will be unique to each
transaction should be provided in a series of schedules, outside the main
body of this sub-contract.
This sub-contract document is designed for use alongside the IT Service
Agreement, also available from Simply-Docs. The clauses in each document
are designed to mirror and/or complement each other. In particular, this
template includes a provision to the effect that it will not come into
force until the main contract does and will terminate automatically in the
event that the main contract is terminated (subject, of course, to the
obligation to make reasonable payment for any work already completed by the
Other key provisions in this form of agreement cover elements such as fees
and payment, insurance, confidentiality, data protection and liability.
This template emphasises the status of the sub-contractor as an independent
self-employed individual, and under its terms the sub-contractor retains a
degree of independence in decision-making. This document states that the
individual is not employed by the main contractor but is a self employed
sole trader. It provides that the main contractor does not have to pay
taxes, national insurance contributions, pensions, benefits or similar.
Under this template, the main contractor pays fees to the sub-contractor,
and it is up to the sub-contractor to pay any sums due in respect of tax,
national insurance etc.
This template includes a number of provisions dealing with the
Sub-Contractor’s right to engage one or more other individuals (“Workers”)
to carry out any of the services that the Sub-Contractor is to provide to
the main contractor. There are options for the Sub-Contractor to engage any
Worker(s) as a substitute for the Sub-Contractor or to work with the
This form of agreement aims to reduce the risk that the individual
sub-contractor might be deemed in law to be a de-facto employee of the main
contractor rather than (and as intended) a self-employed contractor.
However, whether he is treated by HMRC, an employment tribunal, or any
other body, as a self-employed contractor will depend not just on the
content of this contract. It will also depend on all other circumstances,
including the practical implementation of the sub-contract, and the
arrangements between, and conduct of, the main contractor, the individual
sub-contractor, and any Worker engaged by the Sub-contractor.
HMRC provides some guidance on its website about self-employment, but its
decisions as to whether someone is self-employed are often based on a
“balancing exercise” in which it gives weightings to various factors.
However, neither the HMRC guidance nor case law are sufficiently precise to
make it possible to predict how this “balancing exercise” would be carried
out or what the position will be in any situation. (For that reason we
recommend that you take professional employment law, tax, and NIC advice in
relation to your particular circumstances before deciding to use or adapt
this document.). Nevertheless, a carefully worded sub-contract, ensuring
the independence of the individual sub-contractor is a key starting point.
As a self-employed individual rather than as an employee of, the main
contractor, he is, for example, free to provide any Workers (see above) to
carry out any of the IT services, and is free to determine when, where and
how the services are completed (subject of course to the main contractor’s
and its client’s requirements).
We have also provided a similar version of this template, the IT
Subcontractor (Company) Agreement (in the Subcontractor (Company)
Agreements subfolder), to be used when the sub-contractor entering into the
agreement with the main contractor is a personal service (or other
intermediary) company rather than an individual IT specialist providing the
IT services for the main contractor. Please see the information page
accompanying that version for guidance about tax, employment status, and
IR35, where the sub-contractor engaged is such an intermediary company, and
the IT services are carried out for the intermediary by the individual IT
specialist engaged by it.
Optional phrases / clauses are enclosed in square brackets. These should be
read carefully and selected so as to be compatible with one another. Unused
options should be removed from the document.
This template contains provisions compliant with the relevant data
This IT Services Sub-Contractor Agreement contains the following clauses:
1. Definitions and Interpretation
2. Commencement Date
3. Engagement of the Sub-Contractor
4. Status of the Sub-Contractor
5. Sub-Contractor’s Obligations
6. Service Provider’s Obligations
7. Provision of Equipment
9. Fees and Payment
14. Force Majeure
15. Term and Termination
16. Effects of Termination
17. Data Protection
18. Data Processing
19. No Waiver
20. Further Assurance
22. Assignment and Sub-Contracting
24. Relationship of the Parties
25. Third Party Rights
27. Entire Agreement
30. Dispute Resolution
31. Law and Jurisdiction
and the following schedules:
1. The Main Contract
2. The Sub-Contracted Services
5. Sub-Contractor’s Fees
7. Data Processing
This document is in open format. Either enter the requisite details in the
highlighted fields or adjust the wording to suit your purposes.
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