Employed and Self-Employed

Understanding your employment status is paramount for determining your employment rights.  Most people fall into two categories; employed or self-employed.  An employee can be in multiple forms such as a worker, employee, agency with a self-employed person being an individual employed under a contract to provide a service.  

The legislation regarding this is established in the actual control and mutual obligation held between the individuals’ relationship.  Primarily employee status is tested by looking at the degree of control those providing the written terms have over the individual, coupled with their obligations. 

An Employment Tribunal will most likely consider an employee relationship in relation to the following circumstances:

  • whether you are paid through payroll or upon the production of invoices

  • whether you have a set place of work or can work where you choose

  • whether you are provided equipment or a company vehicle or if you have to use and supply your own

  • who is responsible for payment of Tax contributions or National Insurance

  • whether you are permitted to work for others or if your employment is solely for the one company

  • your ability to refuse work

  • the times in which you must be available for work, are these set by the company or yourself

  • whether you receive any holiday or sick pay

The case of Ready Mixed Concrete (South East) Limited v Minister of Pensions and National Insurance [1968] investigated the elements of the working relationship to try to provide some guidance on the issue of employed or self-employed.  This has been more recently tested and updated by the case of Pimlico Plumbers Limited and Another v Smith [2017]. 

It is considered that where there is uncertainty as to the employment relationship, you should try to look behind the terms as this does not always accurately reflect the relationship in practice.  Simply because a written agreement is in place which suggests an individual is self-employed does not mean that the person will be exempt from employment protection under employment law as an employee.

With offices in Leicester and Market Harborough we are willing to discuss your employment law claim at any of our offices. In addition we are a national provider of expert employment law advice and welcome a free discussion with you regarding you circumstances and potential claim.  If you believe you have a situation where you require free legal advise, please contact us on telephone 01162121000 or 01858445480.