Employment Status is the starting point of everything, it dictates what employment rights your staff have, what your responsibilities are as an employer, how tax is calculated etc. Get the status right and the rest will follow.
If only it were that easy! There are three categories of employment status; Employee, Worker and Self-Employed. An employee has extensive employment law rights, a self-employed contractor has virtually none, but a worker sits in between.
Employment status is the hot topic in employment law at present, particularly in the Gig Economy but also in more traditional trades such as plumbing. Recent cases against Uber, Citysprint and Pimlico Plumbers have demonstrated that business models relying on staff that are classified as self-employed are open to scrutiny by the courts.
In all of these cases the courts found that members of staff that had been treated as self-employed, were actually “Workers” and not self-employed, resulting in them having more employment rights, such as a right to national minimum wage, an entitlement to annual leave and protection against discrimination.
If you’re unsure about the employment status of your staff, then get in touch with the Howarths’ Legal Team on 01274 864999.
By Sarah Edwards, Employment Law Advisor.