WORKER: Generally, you would have ‘worker employment status’ if:
- You have a verbal or written contract (or an arrangement) to do work or services ‘personally’ for a reward.
- Your ‘reward’ is money or a benefit in kind (e.g. promise of work or a contract).
- You have limit rights to send another person to do the work (such as subcontracting).
- You must turn up for work (whether you want to or not).
- Your employer provides the only work you have while a contract or arrangement lasts.
- You do not carry out the work as part of your own limited company where the ’employer’ is a client or a customer.
Worker Employment Rights
There are core work rights and protections afforded to all ‘workers’. Though very similar for employment status purposes, not all workers get classed as employees. As a rule, these groups would have worker status (but not employee status).
- Most freelancers
- Short term casual workers
- The majority of agency workers
Under UK labour laws workers have entitlement to certain employment rights. Thus, a worker would get:
- The United Kingdom National Minimum Wage.
- Protection against unlawful or unauthorised deductions from their pay or wages.
- The statutory minimum level of paid holiday entitlements.
- The statutory minimum length of time for rest breaks.
- The right not work more than 48 hours in an average week and the choice to opt out of this right.
- Protection against cases of unlawful discrimination at work.
- Protection after ‘workplace whistleblowing‘ (reporting a disclosure in the public interest).
- Protection against less favourable treatment if they only work part-time.
In many cases having worker status in the United Kingdom means you may also have entitlement to:
- Shared Parental Pay
- Statutory Adoption Pay
- Statutory Maternity Pay
- Statutory Paternity Pay
- Statutory Sick Pay
Note: The agency workers regulations 2010 mean they have certain rights from their first day at work.
As a general rule, workers will not get the usual entitlement to:
- The minimum notice period if their employment will end (e.g. if they get dismissed from work).
- Full protection against unfair dismissal.
- Statutory Redundancy Pay
- The right to ask for flexible working arrangements.
- Take time off work for emergencies.
Casual Work and Irregular Working Patterns
All other things being equal, an individual is more likely to have worker employment status if some or all these apply:
- They carry out occasional work for a specific client or business.
- The business is not compelled to offer them work and the person does not have to accept it. In simple terms, they only work when they want to.
- They have a contract with a business that uses terms such as:
- Zero hours.
- As required.
- They had to make an agreement (verbal or written) with the terms and conditions of a business to get the work.
- A manager or a director generally supervises their working procedures. Likewise, they cannot send another person to do the work instead.
- A business deducts National Insurance contributions and tax from their pay or wages.
- A business provides them with equipment, materials, or tools so they can perform the work.