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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49833
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Im a director of a small private investigation company and

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Im a director of a small private investigation company and I'm trying to find a way in which I can get away from being a subcontractor.
Sub contracting happens in our industry a lot and has a bad reputation with the big nation wide companies who get a job and completely sub contract the whole job out to another firm who has bid a low price, now theres all sorts wrong with that.
I however will always do the work which comes in, but on occasions I will hire help from qualified individuals who I know that can do the work, have clean CRBs and qualified.
The people I use have their own business and would hire me for their tasks too.
Sometimes when approached by companies to do some work for they always ask if I sub contract and i believe that they see this as a bad thing.
What can I do? I've been thinking of getting up zero hour contracts for my usual lot that I hire but then theres the holiday pay, PAYE and NI issues, not to mention they are all mostly directors of their own business so would this even be possible?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

How long have you been sub-contracting for?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've been working since 2012 but only went limited last September

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court for the rest of today so will prepare my advice in a while and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ive started to push the company this year and I've started to get a lot of my own work,.. hence the question
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No problem at all

Many thanks for your patience. It is a difficult situation because in reality you may have no other option but to subcontract someone. There are only a few ways in which you can employ someone and these are as an employee, an agency worker, a contractor or a volunteer. Obviously you cannot employ them as volunteers, they are not agency workers so you care left with the option of employees or contractors. The issue here is that you do not choose the employment status of someone simply by labelling them. So you cannot call someone an employee and assume they are one when in fact they are working as a contractor. A person’s employment status is defined by the way they are treated and their overall relationship with the employer. So someone could be labelled as an employee but in reality still be a contractor. Based on the way you are employing people to do the work, the likelihood is that they will be working as contractors regardless of what you call them or what contract you employ them under. Therefore, unless you are prepared to take the hit and employ them under an employment contract such as a zero hours one (treating them as employees and fulfilling all the rights they would get as an employee) there is unlikely to be another way of going about this unfortunately.

I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi thank you, ***** ***** understand.
So, could I have a contract of zero hours with someone who is already employed and possibly a director of a different business? If this is my only option then I don't mind having a contract between myself and a worker. would I be right in thinking if they don't earn over £11,000 from me then I don't have to put them on PAYE? I can just pay then as I would a sub contractor and they would continue to file their own taxes etc. I know I have other things like holiday pay which I don't mind paying as this would be only calculated on the hours that they have worked.

Yes you can certainly have a zero hours contract wish someone show is already working elsewhere. There is no limit on how many jobs a person can hold or how he is employed in those jobs. I cannot advise on the PAYE matter unfortunately as this is a tax matter rather than employment law and not my area of law. They would have rights in terms of holiday but you will get additional liabilities, such as paying sick pay, redundancy after 2 years of they are to be made redundant, they get protection against unfair dismissal. So there will be some additional liabilities which you must be aware of if you are going to take them on as an employee.

If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.

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