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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 68162
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I work as a self employed teacher in a primary school. 4

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Hi, I work as a self employed teacher in a primary school. 4 days a week and get a daily fee for it. We have written SLA for my services. I was wondering if I’m entitled for any statutory rights? I believe that I clacify as a ‘worker’ acording to government website. And all workers and entitled to those rights.
JA: Was this discussed with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: With HR, And was informed that I am not entitled to anything as I am a freelancer
JA: Does the workplace operate with employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors or with unionised employees?
Customer: With all of the above
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: That’s it

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

How long have you been doing this work for and can you decline work if it is offered to you?

and are you able to select your days and hours of work?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I work in this school for nearly 3 years. I have a written SLA with the school determining my working hours and days, I can not change them.
I believe I can not refuse the job unless I would decide to resign. (Under SLA)

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. A person’s legal rights in the workplace largely depend on their employment status, such as whether they are a worker, an employee, an agency worker, self-employed, etc. However, establishing a person’s employment status is not always an easy task. Problems may arise when there is uncertainty over it or when someone disagrees with what they are officially referred as by the employer.

It is usually irrelevant what a person is labelled as by their employer because their actual status would depend on the overall employment relationship and how they were treated, rather than what they were labelled as.

The main problem is that there is no single official way to determine someone’s status and it is usually done by checking if certain factors are satisfied. These factors have been established over years of case law and are still open to interpretation. Therefore, whilst they serve as a good reference point, in reality only a court can provide a definitive answer.

Generally there are three main types of employment status which are relevant in these circumstances: employee, worker and contractor (self-employed). As workers’ and employees’ rights largely overlap, the main issues are in distinguishing whether someone is self-employed or a worker/employee. The following factors are usually taken into account:

1. Personal service – contractors will provide their own services, but may also sub-contract work to others, or bring in outside assistance. Employees only provide their personal services.

2. Mutuality of obligation – contractors are free to accept or turn down work if they want to and the employer is under no obligation to offer them any work. Employees are obliged to accept work offered by their employer who also has a duty to offer work in the first place.

3. Right of control – contractors are likely to be in control of most aspects of the work done. Employees’ activities may be controlled by their employer, such as "what", "how", "where" and "when" work is done.

4. Right of substitution – contractors can sub-contract work, or bring in assistance. Employees, on the other hand, are unlikely to be able to offer a substitute for the work they do.

5. Provision of own equipment – contractors will normally supply all small tools and bring in or hire plant and machinery. Employees may sometimes supply own small tools or equipment but the employer will provide all plant and machinery.

6. Financial risk – contractors will quote on a job-by-job basis and can make more profit by more efficient working, or may incur loss if they overrun on time. Employees are paid whatever work is done, bear little risk and poor performance generally only affects appraisals or additional payments like bonus/commission.

7. Part and parcel of the organisation – contractors may become "a fixture" in that their work brings them to the company regularly, but acquire no additional responsibilities or privileges as a result. Employees are capable of being promoted or manage other staff. They also benefit from being in a pension scheme and get other benefits/perks usually given to employees.

The above are the most common factors used when determining a person’s employment status and should hopefully provide a reasonable indication of what the status in this case is. They can be useful in negotiations with the employer. However, as mentioned, in the end only a court can decide what the true employment status is.

Based on these what do you believe yourself to be?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I believe I should be defined as an employee (worker) as I tick every single box of a definition when it comes to work and working relationships. But my school might argue that I invoice the school every month and get paid the agreed amount and I’m not part of the payrol. I pay my own taxes.
But I have no right to subcontract my work, I can’t choose my working hours or place, I have to turn up for work even if I don’t want to. I do exactly the same as a properly employed teacher but I am being treated as a freelancer with no statutory rights.

Ok the issue with all of this is that there are some factors which say you may be self-employed, other which say that you may be a worker. As mentioned, there is no definitive answer and only a court can decide what your status actually is and thus, what rights you may get. You could argue that you believe you are a worker, but the employer can easily refuse to agree with you and do nothing about it, which is where you would then have to consider taking it to court for a resolution

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can simply reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’ and I won’t bother you again. Thank you

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you. It answered my question. Thank you once again.

All the best