Uber and self employed status.

Uber and self employed status.

There is some confusion both in the news, and amongst business owners about what the situation is concerning so called “self-employed” staff, and the minimum wage, and paid holidays.

While the legal test is a little more complicated, (only a little) there is a simple scenario which will help employers work out whether they are at risk of getting the classification wrong.

Does the person who you pay to perform work, have their own web site, or provide the same services to the public as they provide for you, choosing when to come or not?

If the answer to this is No, then you may need to look more closely at the situation. If the answer is Yes, then you are “probably” talking about someone who is self-employed.

What’s the risk of getting it wrong?

If you fall out with the person in the future, then they might decide to sue you for:

  • unpaid holidays (worst case at the moment would be just over 10 weeks pay)
  • National Living or Minimum Wage (this could go back for some years)
  • Discrimination
  • Even unfair dismissal in some cases.

Increasingly, there will reputational damage as the public’s view of these arrangements increasingly fall into the category of Exploitation.

What’s the likelihood of getting caught out?

The likelihood of getting caught is growing.

Public awareness of this issue is on the increase, even in sectors where it’s been accepted without question in the past such as construction.

The government coffers are now very low, and every means available is being looked at to ensure every penny in terms of National Insurance is collected. The one department that is getting more funding is HMR Revenue and Customs who enforce the minimum wage if individuals don’t.

If you use the self employed on a regular, or daily basis, now might be a good time to check your exposure to this significant risk.

 

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