Self employed rights

Published 24 September 10

Rights of self-employed workers

Essentially, individuals who are self-employed in terms of being responsible for the payment of their own tax and National Insurance may nevertheless fall under the category of being classed as a worker if, for example:

  • They have to perform work or services personally and cannot send a substitute or sub-contract the work, and/or
  • They are not undertaking the work as part of their own business (i.e. their employer is not their 'client').

In these instances, self- employed workers may be entitled to the same rights to holiday entitlement, sick pay and other terms and conditions as those defined as employed because it is argued that they are working under the terms of a contract even though no actual written contract may have been provided.

Workers are entitled to the basic core employment rights, which include the right to:

  • Receive at least the National Minimum Wage, which in an on-farm role includes the Agricultural Minimum Wage.
  • Paid holiday entitlement.
  • Minimum length of rest breaks.
  • Be covered by Working Time Directive legislation or to opt-out if they choose.
  • Protection from the same regulations covering unlawful discrimination as employees enjoy.

Importantly, depending upon a variety of factors including level of earnings, self-employed workers may also be entitled to:

  • Statutory Maternity, Paternity or Adoption Pay.
  • Statutory Sick Pay.

For more advice see Directgov

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