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How long has it been since you took over the business?
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Many thanks for your patience. Under law, only employees are entitled to receive a minimum notice period in the event that their employment is terminated by their employer. The self-employed do not have the legal right to minimum notice periods on termination.
Whether a self employed worker is entitled to a notice period will depend on their contract. If there is a termination clause that specifies a notice period on termination, the employer would be expected to give that notice if they wish to end the employment relationship.
However, it is often the case that no written contract exists, or there is no notice clause in it. In such situations, the worker can still expect a 'reasonable' notice period to have their employment terminated. This is because even in the absence of a written contract they will be working under an implied common law contract and to terminate such a contract a reasonable notice period is required. The only exception is if the contract was terminated because of gross misconduct, that is any misconduct serious enough to justify the employment relationship terminating immediately.
What is a reasonable notice period will vary greatly and will depend on the individual circumstances, industry practices, length of employment, frequency of payment, etc. There are far too many variables to consider, which means it is usually impossible to give a precise indication as to what would be reasonable in each case. It is therefore down to the courts to make that decision.
I would say that to be reasonable you should be looking at an equivalent of what an employee may get in these circumstances and for someone with 7 full years of service t would be 7 weeks notice. At the least I would say they should expect a month but that may be ushing it slightly so do try and be reasonable about it.
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Thanks for your patience. TUPE only applies to employees so her service would not have been continuous following the transfer. As such you can consider her employed from when you took over the business. Garden leave should ideally only be applied if there is a clause allowing that, otherwise it could be a breach of contract if they incur losses as a result. So if you are to do this you must ensure they are compensated farly for that time, so you need to perhaps look at the average pay they would have received over a period of time, say 3 months and use that to calculate what to pay them now if you were to place them on garden leave.
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