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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I started working for a magazine as a freelance sub-editor

Resolved Question:

I started working for a magazine as a freelance sub-editor about 12 years ago and have worked continuously, 10am to 6pm five days a week ever since without being taken on as a full-time member of staff. For the past nine years I have had the official title of deputy chief sub-editor and I am enrolled in the company pension scheme. I tend to be notified at the start of the year that I am booked for the following 12 months, but I am not always asked to sign anything to that effect. What would my legal status be if the company wanted to dispense with my services, as there have been a number of rounds of redundancy and I expect more to come?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Your employment rights would very much depend on your employment status and whether you are considered to be an employee or self employed. However, establishing your employment status is not an easy task and there is no single test that can be used. It is usually irrelevant what a person is labelled as by their employer because their status would depend on the overall employment relationship, not on what they referred as.


 


Following years of case law, a number of established factors have generally been accepted as a reasonably accurate way of establishing whether someone is an employee or self employed. The courts would still use some of these to get an overall picture of the employment relationship and determine the person's employment status.


 


The tests that are most commonly used can be found here:


 


http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/employment-status/index.htm#1


 


By following the link and answering the questions you may get a good idea of what your employment status is, although it is worth noting that these are still only an indication and only a court can provide a definitive answer. They are nevertheless useful to use in negotiations with the employer.

Customer:

I am paid monthly through the company's payroll, having NI and tax deducted at source so I am treated as an employee. I am not self-employed.

Ben Jones :

Whether you are paid monthly or pay tax and source and are called an employee does not automatically make you one - as mentioned there are a number of factors that would be considered, the most common ones which you can see through the link I supplied.

Customer:

Having looked at the employment status guidelines, my work status appears to be employee. Assuming this is the case, would I be entitled to redundancy the same as any other employee of 12 years' service?

Ben Jones :

If you are an employee and assuming the reason for terminating your employment is for redundancy, then yes you would be entitled to claim a redundancy payment as any other employee in your circumstances, as well as get a notice period equal to at least 12 weeks

Customer:

Thank you Ben. That's answered my question.

Ben Jones :

you are welcome, all the best

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