Employment Status is a complex area of law which requires a detailed analysis of your particular circumstances before detailed advice can be given. In summary, there are three main types of employment status:
- Self-employed; and
All individuals are entitled to basic employment rights, although some rights are reserved for workers or employed people.
Certain rights such as those under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (which regulates working time, rest breaks, and paid annual leave) and the right to receive the National Minimum Wage are available to both employees and workers. Both employees and workers are protected against discrimination, and breaches of health and safety legislation from the first day of work.
Your employment status will depend on the type of contract which you are working under. If you work under a contract of service (more commonly known as a contract of employment), this indicates that you are likely to be an employee.
If you are working under a different sort of contract which provides that you must personally provide the service to an organisation, or you work through an employment agency and are placed with another business (the end user), it is possible that you fall under the umbrella of being a worker. This bracket may also include casual or freelance workers or people working under zero-hour contracts.
If you work under a contract for services, this may mean you are self-employed. It is however important to remember that it is possible for the reality of the situation not to be recorded in the contract. When deciding your employment status, the Employment Tribunal, will take into account both the situation on the ground and what it says in your contract.
You should note that if you do not have a written contract of employment, the law states that one is implied. If you are in any dispute with your employer as to your employment status and resort to bringing a claim, it will ultimately be the job of the Employment Tribunal to clarify your employment status.
In order for the Tribunal to determine your employment status, four main factors will be considered. These are:
- The degree of control your employer exercises over you, including whether you are told which tasks to perform and how to perform them;
- The level of integration into the organisation you work for;
- Whether there is mutuality of obligation, meaning whether your employer is under an obligation to provide you with work, and whether you are obliged to accept it and be paid for such work; and.
- Whether services are provided by you personally.
There are many other factors which may also be considered, for example whether you pay your own tax and national insurance contributions, whether you wear a uniform, whether you have your own clients, or whether you provide and use your own equipment. The Tribunal will look at the situation as a whole before making a decision.
Your employment status can greatly impact on your Employment Law rights. It is therefore important to know which of the above categories you fall under. If you are in doubt, you should seek detailed legal advice from the Employment Law specialists at Taylor&Emmet LLP.