Well I have been turning the house upside down now and typing out enough information to wipe out a forest when I print it all off but we WILL make our case officer accept Steve's work experience - he's only being doing it for 17 years!!
Luckily even when Steve was self employed he only actually sub-contracted for 2 companies and both of these have done us further references stating his working hours to back up everything else we have done and we have detailed the work involved in fitting a kitchen / bathroom for someone so the case officer can see how many hours it takes. We have also explained that Steve would have to pay gas fitters, electricians, labour and everything else that is relevant to a fit out and why he quoted low on alot of jobs (any work was better than none!) so that they can try and understand why his profit was low.
We are packaging everything up for our agent and scanning and emailing it by Sunday so she has it first thing Monday morning. She is then going to check it over herself and send it to our case officer as we only have until Tuesday (ASPC time) to submit.
We have however, had it clarified that if we are rejected due to the hours thing and we re-submit straight away that Steve's TRA approval & our state approval are still valid and as he has been employed by a company since Jan 2008 we will satisfy the work hours no problem! So basically we send the exact paperwork with the addition of the fact he's been back with CDM for 18 months not 6 months and they get another application fee off us! A bit crazy really but at least it means we have hope. Will update you all when I hear anything but do feel like I may turn into an alcoholic over the weekend!!!!!