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Employee or Self-Employed?

The following are some tests which go to indicate whether a worker is an employee of a company, or is an independent contractor. They are not conclusive or complete. Each set of answers will differ, and according to the circumstances, the answers will have different significance.

  1. What does the contract say? How does it describe the relationship? Does it say anything about any of the following points.
  2. Is the contract signed by both parties.
  3. Are there any obvious separate reasons for avoiding employment status (wages below minimum level etc)
  4. Is this in an industry where the Inland Revenue have traditionally accepted or refused to accept self-employment?
  5. Is this an industry where it is common for people to work both as self-employed and as independent contractors?
  6. Must the worker follow company instructions as to how (particularly) and when, and where to work?
  7. Does the company provide training? Is there any provision for repayment or loan arrangement in respect of any training fees?
  8. How closely are the services integrated within the company?
  9. Must the services be provided personally? Can the worker sub-contract?

    Does the worker provide alternative cover for holidays and sickness?

  10. Where the work requires further assistance, who provides this?
  11. Is there a continuing relationship between the company and the worker where work is performed at intervals?
  12. Does the company set the work hours and schedule?
  13. Must the worker devote substantially full time to the business of the company?
  14. Does the worker perform services on the company's premises?
  15. Must the worker submit oral or written reports to the company?
  16. Is the worker paid by the hour, week, or month?
  17. Is the worker paid on invoice?
  18. Does the company pay the business or travelling expenses of the worker?
  19. Does the company furnish significant tools, materials and equipment?
  20. Does the company have the right to fire the worker?
  21. Can the worker quit without incurring a liability to the company?
  22. Does the worker have a significant investment in tools or facilities?
  23. Does the worker keep a profit or loss account?
  24. Does the worker provide services to several companies at the same time?
  25. Does the worker regularly advertise or make his or her services available to the general public?
Important: Please note that our law-bytes are retained for archival purposes only. The law changes, and these notes are often, now, out of date. You must take direct advice on your own personal situation and the law as it currently stands.
All information on this site is in general and summary form only. The content of any page on this site may be out of date and or incomplete, and you should not not rely directly upon it. Take direct professional legal advice which reflects your own particular situation.
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Copyright and Database Rights: David Swarbrick 2012
18 October 2013 41 18 October 2013