Many thanks for your patience. If you are a self employed worker then unfortunately you will have limited rights when compared to an employee. Most importantly you will not be protected against unfair dismissal and it means you could be dismissed for more or less any reason and at any time. The main issue then is whether you receive the required notice period for that to happen.
Under law, only employees are entitled to receive a specified minimum notice period in the event that their employment is terminated. The self-employed/contractors do not have the legal right to minimum notice periods on termination.
Whether a contractor is entitled to a notice period will depend on their written contract. If there is a termination clause which specifies a notice period on termination, the employer would be expected to give that notice if they wish to end the employment relationship. The contract may also specify situations when notice may not be due, such as if the contractor has acted in breach of contract or is guilty of gross misconduct.
It may actually be the case that no written contract exists, or there is no termination notice clause in it. In such circumstances, the contractor can still expect a 'reasonable' notice period to have their working arrangement 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.
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. A useful starting point would be to look at the usual invoicing and payment cycle, which may provide the length of the notice period that could be reasonable (e.g. invoicing for work on a monthly basis can potentially require a month’s notice to terminate).
In reality, there are far too many variables to consider, which means it is usually impossible to give a precise indication as to what would be a reasonable notice period in each case. It is therefore down to the courts to make that decision. The contractor can nevertheless raise this issue with the employer and attempt to negotiate a reasonable notice period with them, a period that they will both be happy to accept.
Does this answer your query?