With all the recent publicity around employment status, I would ask you the question – do you know whether those working for you are employees, workers or self-employed contractors in terms of their employment status? If you are in the happy position that all those working for you are employees, then the relationship is quite clear cut.
However, if you have people working for you in different capacities it can be quite a grey area. To define whether they are workers or a self-employed contractors or even employees entitled to full employment rights is not always an easy task especially as there is no single test.
Recently publicised cases (Pimlico Plumbers Ltd v Smith and Aslam and others v Uber) highlight that whilst the employer firmly believed those working for them were self-employed, the courts looked behind the scenes at what happened in practice regardless of whether there was an agreement or contract in place defining them as self-employed.
To help with clarification there are two fundamental questions to ask:
- Do they provide a personal service i.e. they could not send a substitute to do their work.
- Is there mutuality of obligation i.e. for you to provide work and for them to carry this work out.
If the answer to both these questions is yes, that is a strong indication that this person would be defined as a worker rather than a self-employed contractor and dependent on further investigation, could be considered an employee.
If you believe someone working for you is a worker, you should note that the main employment rights they are entitled to are; the National Minimum Wage, paid holiday (under the Working Time Directive), the right not to suffer deductions and the right to bring Whistleblowing claims. They may also have protection against Discrimination dependent upon what contract they are engaged under.
So, if you are unsure about who is working for you, let Your HR Consultant help you make an informed decision and ensure you are meeting all your employment law obligations!