Could your self-employed workers claim employment rights?

The impact of the recent Supreme Court decision made against Charlie Mullins and Pimlico Plumbers means many more self-employed workers are likely to claim holiday and sick pay. Does it affect you?

If you engage someone on a self-employed basis , provide regular work, expect him or her to discharge that work on a regular basis and provide equipment (such as in this case a company van) then VAT registration and self assessment is irrelevant. This Supreme Court decision means you could well face claims for (back) holiday pay or even for unfair dismissal if you end the contract.

Charlie Mullins thinks there is a warning here for thousands of companies.

The crucial point is that simply calling an individual “self-employed” will not be accepted by a court as necessarily true. The truth is much more complicated than any “label” that you use.

So if you have been engaging a “self employed” person regularly for six months or more then we strongly advise that you establish the true situation as soon as possible.

Employer Solutions can advise you on this issue and may be able to help you to limit any liability, as it has done with other clients. The sooner you act the more your chances of limiting any damage.

Malcolm Martin FCIPD

Author Human Resource Practice

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