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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 51206
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I run a flyer delivery business. Our staff are paid per

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I run a flyer delivery business. Our staff are paid per 1,000 flyers. They are on a self-employed basis. How long it takes them to deliver 1,000 flyers depends on the type of housing they deliver to. Our present rate of pay would possibly equate to very approximately £7.50 per hour for typical housing. However, they have a significant degree of control over where they deliver to. For example, if the person selects terraced housing he would earn much more than that per hour. We do not force people to deliver to areas exclusively comprised of large houses on large plots which would result in a very low hourly income.With the increases in the minimum wage and the national living wage, it would be appreciated if you could indicate if the current rate of pay per 1,000 leaflets is acceptable as they are self-employed or whether it should be raised so that the pay for what could reasonably be delivered per 1,000 leaflets in a typical area meets the minimum wage and the national living wage,I realise that self-employed individuals are not entitled to the minimum wage and the national living wage, but in the present climate such as with the Uber decision would it be wiser to err on the side of caution with the rate of pay?

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

Have any of them tried to challenge you over this?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
No
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I have another question which is unrelated to this. If we switch to a phone call, is it possible to ask you that as well?
Thanks
Peter

I can only deal with the query above but I am not available for calls at present anyway, that is an automatically generated message

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok

You are correct that self employed workers do not have the right to the minimum wage and as such you can pay them whatever rates you want. The key to them getting the NMW is to be classified as workers or employees. Whilst the Uber case is quite complex legally, the main reasons they were found to be workers, rather than self employed, was because Uber was deemed to exercise too much control over them when it came to the work they did and how they did it.

You will not be able to determine yourself with certainty whether the people working for you are workers or not – only a court can do that. If you are confident that you do not really exercise much control over their work and that they are genuinely free to choose what work they do and where they do it, then there is more of a likelihood that they are not workers, but self employed. However, nothing stops any of them to challenge you over this if they wanted to and it really depends on how much they want to fight this as to whether you may have to deal with it at any point in the future.

To be on the safest side, you can just bump up their rates a little bit to bring them in line with the NMW (The Living wage is just a recommendation, not legally binding), but I know many employers who would not do so and take the risk, which I would not say is that great in the circumstances.

I trust this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please reply on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you

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