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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49857
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am a freelance musician. One of my on-going contracts is

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I am a freelance musician. One of my on-going contracts is an annually re-newed freelance engagement that started in September 2001 until now. I am confident I have done and will continue to complete my work to a high level.
After 15 years of continuous annual contracts, do I have any protection if my employer were to decide not to re-new my contract? Is there anything I can do to protect myself from this possibility?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Just to confirm, do you invoice the employer following completion of your work and have they given you any indication that work may cease in the future?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ben.Until recently I have invoiced the foundation that pays me monthly. Strictly speaking, my contract is with this foundation who receive a grant from a large corporation. Last year, the woman at the foundation in charge of arranging my payment said these invoices were not necessary. I continue to be paid monthly by standing order.There has been no direct indication that my work might cease. But I am strongly aware of the politics involved in my work and relatively privileged position. I know there are powerful individuals in the large corporation who have been critical of my work.Therefore, I am concerned because this work is my main income. I am 55 and it would be difficult for me to replace this income. In some way, I have given my professional life to this job.

OK thank you for your response; please leave 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.
I prefer to write. Thank you.

No problem at all. I will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. Many thanks

Many thanks for your patience. A person's legal rights in the workplace will mainly depend on their employment status. 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. SO you could be freelance but in truth be an employee.

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.

You may use this guide to find out what your status is most likely to be (just scroll down to the Checklist section and answer the questions and see which side you most likely fall into):

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.

If you are an employee then you get protection against unfair dismissal – they must show a fair reason for dismissal and follow a fair procedure. So you will have reasonably good rights.

If you are self employed then you get no unfair dismissal protection. All they have to do is give you the contractual notice period to terminate the contract or in the absence of such – a reasonable notice period.

Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss your rights in a bit more detail, depending on what you find out your status is. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just spent some time writing a response that then was deleted when I went to the ratings...I will write again later in the hope that you can respond to me again within the limited amount I have paid until now.Best wishes

Hi there no problem just get back to me when covenient