Self employed is the new employer’s liability

Do you use self-employed contractors in your organisation?

Are you sure that your working relationship is that of a supplier and client?

This is particularly important in light of the Supreme Court ruling on the Pimlico Plumbers case that Mr Smith, a self-employed plumber was in fact a ‘worker’ and therefore entitled to certain legal rights including the right to a minimum wage, holiday pay and protection from discrimination.

It’s therefore a good time to look again at self-employed individuals in your business, what are they doing for you and how is it being done?   Here are some questions you should be asking yourself;

  • Are they providing their services to other clients and free to do so?
  • Do they use their own tools/equipment?
  • Are they free to substitute – send someone else to carry the service/work for you?
  • Are they free to carry out the work how they choose to, not having to follow working practices or procedures stipulated by you?
  • Do they have a written agreement detailing the terms under which they will provide the services to you?
  • Are they excluded from team meetings, company events etc?
  • Do you only give them work as and when you want to?
  • Do they decide when they will work and can turn down work when offered?
  • Do they invoice you for the time/service they provide to you?

If you answer ‘no’ to any of these questions than a Tribunal may consider them a worker and award backdated holiday pay along with other workers entitlements such as minimum wage, sick pay or protection against unlawful discrimination, if they were asked to consider a case.

If you have any questions or concerns on this then please get in touch with the Team at HRML who will be happy to provide you with further advice and guidance.

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